Monday, June 1, 2009

In praise of poppies

It's not only the vivid colours and the tissue paper petals bobbing precariously on curved stems that explain my love affair with poppies. Poppies are interesting no matter what aspect of development they are in.
Ready to burst forth at any moment, you can almost convince yourself you see bits of red escaping its temporary prison.

This vivid orb is hard to ignore. I love this photo and eventually it prompted a painting.

Striving(2004) 10 x 30 in. mixed media

The blooming period of poppies is very short, lasting only two to four days before the petals begin to drop. Because of this brief bloom time, poppies are rarely used for cut flower bouquets.
What's left behind after the petals drop is just as beautiful as the flower in bloom.

While the poppy is in bloom the pod is only a small berry but it grows quickly and reaches 5 to 7.5 centimeters. Pods come in two shapes: round and slightly elongated. The seeds inside the dried pods found in fall gardens will become next years poppies. Initially pods are grayish green and somewhat shiny, but they change to a dull gray, a signal they can be picked and still maintain a hard shell. If you pick them too early the pods will shrivel up. Dried pods last indefinitely. I tie the pods together with a string and hang them upside down so the stems will dry straight. Be ready with something to collect the release of seeds. This was a big surprise the first time it happened.

Fertility series (2003)

Enclosed, 5 x 5 in. acrylic and modeling paste

Removed, 5 x 5in. acrylic and modeling paste

Spilling, 5 x 5in. acrylic and modeling paste

Revealed, 5 x 5in. acrylic and modeling paste


Robin Maria Pedrero said...

These are incredibly beautiful!

HeartFire said...

Margaret, what a wonderful post and love your paintings. Poppies are my favorite too. I've taken lots of pix, painted a couple, and then a good friend, made a poppy rug for me, which I love, of course.
Thanks for the posting.

Poetic Artist said...

What a lovely post.. !!!

Mary Buek said...

Love poppies, love your photographs and paintings. There is something so sensual about poppies right before they bloom. Almost makes them X-rated (or maybe that's just me?)

Margaret Ryall said...

It's not just you Mary. I started describing them when I wrote the post initially and had to delete several sentences when I re-read.

Kathy said...

The poppies are gorgeous! One of my favorite flowers. I like your interpretations of the pods as well.

teresa stieben said...

The fertility series if wonderful. I too have always loved poppies. Years ago my grandfather had a whole garden full of huge, lush brilliant poppies which I remember so well. The seed pods were enormous. I don't ever see poppies like that anymore, I miss them so. some day I will have a place to fill a garden with them, mmm, my own special little heartwarming garden where I can delight, sip tea and paint.