Sunday, 26 October 2014

Hello once again.

On the 15th October I had the pleasure of demonstrating for the Victorian Floral Art Assoc. Inc.'s AGM. I always enjoy demonstrating for this group because they make me feel very welcome and seem appreciative of my work. Also, because they are experienced floral artists themselves, they understand what's needed for a demonstration and they provide everything without my having to ask.

On the day, I had Vicky Kalokathis, who is my sister as well as my student, assisting me. After some coaxing, I managed to convince her to demonstrate one arrangement and here she is with her piece. She used watsonias, which are growing wild near a creek and some common weeds to create this light, pleasing arrangement.

I demonstrated seven arrangements and the ones that photographed best, I've included here.

Corky elm, anthuria and iris leaves

Fishbone fern and roses

 Haemanthus lily leaf and Strelitzia Reginae

Mahonia and roses
Loquat stem and dutch iris

As I could not take photographs myself, when I got home I recreated the arrangements so that I may photograph them properly. To those that attended the event, I apologize if there are some small differences from the original but, I'm sure, you know that we can never recreate perfectly something we've done before.

The loquat branch in the tall black vase has been reused a number of times with different flowers in this wall container. And it is still as fresh as the day I cut it.

The Floral Art Society of Victoria Inc. has paid me the great honour of asking me to set up a large ikebana arrangement as part of an event that is taking place this weekend at the Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens.

The Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria is celebrating its 165th birthday with the launch of the book - 'A Seed is Planted: A History of the Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria'. There is an exhibition of floral art from the Victorian era to today by the Floral Art Society of Victoria and my piece is the ikebana component.

1880's English influence
Barbara Maier

1950's and 1960's
Myrna Demetriou

1964-2014 representing ikebana
Emily Karanikolopoulos

1970's and 1980's Japanse influence
Norma Bathie

Norma Bathie

Janet Alesich

Spring would not be the same without at least one iris arrangement in the traditional style as has been taught to us over the years by Theresa Feile, one of our founding members.

So I leave you with this photograph until next time.


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Hello all,
For years I've been wanting to visit Canberra during Floriade and the previous weekend on an impulse, my husband and I flew there. Floriade is promoted as the biggest celebration of spring in Australia but it left us seriously underwhelmed.

They had mass plantings of bulbs and spring flowers and not much else. There was no artistry in the planting and no elevated platforms from which to view the garden beds.

Disappointment with Floriade notwithstanding, we enjoyed the three days in Canberra, going to NGA where we saw the Sydney Nolan and Arthur Boyd exhibitions, visited Parliament House and walked around Lake Burley Griffin. We also dined at some very nice restaurants and enjoyed the unusually balmy weather. Outside the Floriade site was this delightful little copse of cherry trees in full bloom, which was a poignant reminder of Hanami in Tokyo.

Back home and in class on Wednesday, the theme was a freestyle spring arrangement using 5 or more materials. This can be a difficult exercise, often looking very Western and the students struggled a little but produced very nice work in the end.

Below are my examples.

Front view

Side view

This is my newly-acquired antique basket. 

In this arrangement, I tried something a little different by using five glass vases to hold the five materials. Unfortunately, try as I might, I couldn't get a good photograph of it.

I also had some other freestyle arrangements around the house because I can't resist all the wonderful spring material around me. 

Strelitzia with leaf

Viburnum Tomentosum and Rhododendron 

Golden Elm blossoms in wall arrangement
(An example of an arrangement using only one kind of material)

Cymbidium orchid, canna lily and Siberian dogwood

Yesterday I attended class with Elizabeth Angell, who had been away travelling for a month. She had set us a combined theme - a ka-bu-wa-ke arrangement and Colours in Contrast.

I had several ideas but I settled on the two below.

Viburnum opulus and Rhododendron

Stelitzia Reginae leaves, clivias and wisteria

I feel very blessed that all the materials for all the arrangements in this post have been sourced  from my garden. It took many years and a lot of hard work but I am now reaping the rewards.

Bye for now,