Over the past year I have been working on drawing all the flowers at LACMA from direct observation of the artworks currently in the galleries. Back in my studio I use the drawings to generate a series of cyanotype paintings - solar photograms using sand, burlap and plant debris to work photographic images and textures into the drawings. The cyanotype process is spontaneous and affected by the weather and time of year. On completion of the drawings, I’m planning a book and a large-scale interactive installation including all the 1,000‘s of flowers found throughout the museum.

Notes on all the flowers at LACMA

Drawing from observation. Quiet galleries, AC pumping. Flowers hidden – on the Buddha’s soles of the feet. In the headdress of a dancing skeleton. In someone’s hair or clothing, on the ground, on a frame, in a hand. Patterned into a wall or carpet. Wildflowers growing under a crucified saint. Is it a flower? Radial symmetry, organic swirls. Really looking at every object in the museum. Working – using another place as my studio. How many galleries are there? Buy a stool. Unnamed craftsmen centuries ago. Is a pineapple or a pomegranate a flower? A pinecone? A cabbage? Heraldic fleur-de-lis. Fanciful, realistic, geometric. Loose blobs and brushstrokes. Flowers like trumpets. Love, joy, loss, wealth, offering, food, memory, fragility, strength, mortality, rebirth, sex, death, paradise, transformation, transcendence, longing, meaningless space-filler. “Eternal Spring” Rodin – male and female making love, no flowers. Beach scene no flowers. Gray city scene no flowers. Trying not to erase.  Fiery, triumphant Monet “Nympheas”. Drawings keep getting smaller and smaller. The problem of drawing a brushstroke.  Just a few dabs of paint identifiable as a particular flower – Queen Ann’s lace, iris, whatever. The same perky little five-petaled flower over and over. Console from the 1700’s with 20+ types of flowers inlaid in stone. Winter scene, no flowers. Game market – artichoke. Glass, stone, paint, wood, fabric, silver, gold, ceramic, bronze, tapestry, albumen silver print.  Shiva the Dance of Furious Bliss, Lord of Eclipses - bouquet of flames in one hand. Ship on a stormy sea – no flowers. Dutch still life – feathery iris and peonies so realistic I can smell them.

Below: Pages 22, 15, 18, 25, 19,  All the flowers at LACMA, 2015-16, Pencil in 14”x11” drawing book