BIG LOVE

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OndineDesignStudioGunnera.jpg
OndineDesignStudio
OndineDesignStudio

Everything about the Pacific North West, including my love for the place, is big. Perhaps that is why my love took hold. The simple magic of feeling small. The Gunnera, its emblem. Grandiose, prehistoric, botanical gluttony. This series is an ode to that big time love. Getting mesmerized, enchanted, perhaps even swallowed whole as I fall forever in love.

LADY SLIPPER

Lady Slipper- Ondine

One of my earliest memories with flowers was finding a sole lady slipper filled with light in the woods in our backyard. I knew magic when I saw it even at age five and my response was to pluck it. I bounded into our kitchen with the bloom cupped in my hands as a gift for my mother. Her response was a gasp and a stern scolding. I learned the New England dogma regarding the endangered orchid. I had plundered our Maine woods. Maybe it was my own dose of karma, but I hadn’t seen one of these flowers since that morning at age five until this June. My dear childhood friend took me on a trail behind her house. Every step you took you saw another dozen. I am still learning not to pluck all the things that are magnificent in this world. But to take the time even if you’re being malled by mosquitos to plunder with the eyes.

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FLOWER FREAK

floral freak -ondine.co

And so beings my Flower Freak series… If you’re a freak like me and blooms are busting out of your hands, head, and heart do reach out and let me take your portrait. Also if you have any flowers in all phases of life and death you would like to offer up to this project I would be forever grateful.

ODE TO THE WREATH

Ondine Wreath

What is a wreath? An emblem of home, of hearth, of merriment. A circle; the primordial shape. A portal to the woods, to the over-grown alleys, to my mother-in-law’s garden. Wreaths are for the meanderers, who quicken at life gone-to-seed. Wreaths are for those that don’t see bracken as browned and brittle but it’s dried curves as the meridian of their final dance. Wreaths are a final dance. I have been weaving bits of botanicals together this season in this form almost daily. I let the materials tell me how they want to move and let them hold themselves together. I have shed wire, glue, and rings in this work. A reminder that all we ever need is our natural world…

WAITING TO LAND

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Most know me as a home body, and yes I like curling up with my cat and my morning coffee ritual. But more than anything, every fiber of my being craves putting my roots down. Digging in. This past July I moved deeper into the PNW and landed on Bainbridge Island, WA. Having grown up on an island, albeit off the coast of Maine, in some ways I was going back to my roots. There have been moments where low tide and Rosa Rugosa stop me in my track. The sound of blue berries dropping into an empty paper cup, roadsides lined with queen ann's lace and red wing black birds keeping pace with my bike. These are the times where all thoughts of doubt and lonesomeness are stilled. And then there are moments when the slightest change in current, perhaps getting someones voicemail instead of their voice, throws me off course.  I am learning to trust the fluidity of not being embedded in the earth. I am trying to remember that the season of the in between is how one should approach every chapter whether or not the discomfort is front and center. These are the times we grow into our stronger, more knowing selves.

MY ANGEL WING BEGONIA

Angel Wing Begonia, Wandering Jew, Staghorn Fern Kokedama

Angel Wing Begonia, Wandering Jew, Staghorn Fern Kokedama

As you may have heard I am in the midst of a transition. Uprooting from the sagebrush and tumbleweeds of Bend, OR to be amongst the moss clad branches and blackberry brambles on Bainbridge Island, WA. I have come to know just how much this dusty high desert soil can nourish. Perhaps it's not the land as much as its people that have helped me grow.

 One of those lovely people has gifted me an arm from her prosperous Angel Wing Begonia. Her Angel Wing has quadrupled in size and split off into mason jars scattered across town. I will hold this one dear. A reminder of its OG Angel, the only girl who brings the fixings for deviled eggs to the park (paprika and all) and makes them right before you on her picnic blanket. The woman who rips down the ski slop in a prom dress, and demands you get the hot pink rubber clogs at your favorite thrift store.

This Angel Wing is also a reminder, like many propagated plants, that not only will I be okay without earth beneath me, I can grow roots wading in water.

 

CURLING IN: A DANCE WITH DECAY

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I am a big believer that the greatest art is always signed by nature itself. Whether it's a turtle's shell, a hummingbird's nest, or a knot in a tree, my being is left brimming in revere. I am currently putting off real life with a month in Costa Rica. Here, it is easy to applaud the greenery, the shadows cast by palm fronds, the roots of an orchid embracing a tree. It is easy to forget to see the beauty of death in all the fruitful life. These three leaves, collected walking back from the beach, struck me with their grace. They seemed to be preforming a fluid dance to decay. And once again I bowed down to the nature of things. I absorbed their lesson that sculpture is movement at a glimpse.  

DAINTY FOOTED DONKEY

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When you tread lightly off the path, as a dainty footed deer, but when you know you are all donkey. And the wild flowers you bowed down to just moments before --the Lupin you cupped in your hands-- now bow for you. You know you are not worthy. Nobody is, but maybe the dear. Yet you ache to be that kid again. The one that swings his legs before him, rather than lifting his knees. You don't remember the last time you stubbed your toe and think you might miss it. You want to rattle down this hillside like the toboggan you should have bailed from you want to fall in love with gravity again, but your notch in the door way is too far from the floor. A painful romance however deep. You don't want to have to worry your weight and the weight of the world. But you know now... that you do not tread lightly.

THE PETAL IN THE KIDDY POOL

The petal in the kiddy pool is nothing more than a petal in a kiddy pool. And it doesn't have to be more, to take pause, to take comfort in the knowing that you are its witness and thus, time is not passing you by, or rather dragging you along its rapid course of waiting and racing. It doesn’t have to be more, to hold close the knowing that there are moments and moments to come. It doesn't have to be more, to praise your eyes that see the light pass through the petal, to praise the skin that feels the summer cross over your shoulders and the hose water cool your toes, to praise your ears that hear the baby’s squeals of delight as he shreds apart the poppy and puts the petals in the pool. It doesn't have to be more to understand all his destruction is a part of his making. It doesn't have to be more to realize he has yet to be told how to take on the world so all he knows is how to take it in. The petal in the kiddy pool is nothing more than a reminder of how to take in the world.