"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that mothers love tulips." - Unknown (jk, its me)
For as long as I’ve been drawing and painting, my mother would always gently balk at the kind of things I enjoyed creating – I had (have) a serious thing for painting creepy things, like monsters, zombies, octopus, etc. “You should paint some pretty flowers one day!” she kept saying. Of course, I scoffed. How could she possibly understand the satisfying pleasure of drawing an icky gooey zombie? I’ve had such a long standing disdain at the notion, as if it were a bad thing, pretty flowers.
In 2016, I began exploring the abstract and taking my chronic doodling habit to the next level, with more expensive art supplies. I wanted to dig into my moments of unconscious creation and see what I could find. What I found was that… I love it. Every new piece is an experiment, a new discovery, and an occasional piece of crap – which I also love. In my 2018 summer residency at SVA, the instructors challenged me with the question of what was my “content”, of which I had no clue, not to mention the horror of hearing that word outside the context of my day job. So now, I had a new riddle to solve. Subject, form & content. Spoiler alert, I’m still working on it.
In 2017, I got to see the David Hockney retrospective at The Met and in 2018 I had the privilege of going to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The words “some pretty flowers” still floating around in the back of my mind, a mom echo - started taking on a different meaning. Getting to see up close and personal how these two artists approached nature, landscapes and of course – pretty flowers – ignited a curiosity for a subject matter I have been unfairly dismissing since I was a teenager.
Which brings me back to the tulips. Being that it is Spring time and they’ve been stalking me, teasing me with their unreasonably vibrant colors and curvy yet graphic form - I decided that I was finally going to paint my mom those pretty flowers. Mom’s are always right, eventually.