TODAY’S PORTRAIT: Mlle. POPPY

Summertime, the season of flowers!

So why not portraits of flowers? For me, flowers have personalities, individuality, presence. And when it comes to taking photographs, they have as much or more of those qualities as humans. They have other good qualities as well — like being cooperative, and never fidgeting or being difficult about “my best angle” or “the sun is in my eyes!”

One of my favorite flowers is the poppy. Here, then, to lead off a summer series of Flower Portraits, I happily present Mam’selle POPPY:

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The American artist Georgia O’Keeffe painted poppies, huge paintings to stop you in your tracks if you pass one on a wall. She said why she did so: Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time…  I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.”

Of course she also said: I hate flowers – I paint them because they’re cheaper than models and they don’t move.”

Well, yes, we’re agreed on that point — but I don’t hate flowers! And, I certainly believe, neither did she. I am SURE she had her tongue firmly in her cheek when she said that. Who could hate such a gorgeous, self-confident, radiant beauty as Mlle. Poppy!

(Why does she present herself to me as a young French girl? Because that is where I have seen her and her brilliant red companions by the multitudes punctuate the golden wheat fields of Burgundy, a scene that never fails to take my breath away.)

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36 Responses to TODAY’S PORTRAIT: Mlle. POPPY

  1. I love poppies so , Of course, think this is a great choice to begin a series of Flower Portraits. You must have been at my shoulder, in the woods, yesterday, as I was capturing portraits of wild flowers and butterflies!

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  2. Poppies are a favorite of mine, too. Will you be posting sunflowers next?

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  3. mybrightlife says:

    When I put France and flowers together I go straight to Lavender! I know, I know…cliché, but I do love lavender. Poppies are wonderful too. Looking forward to the next revelation.

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Lavender and poppies together, what a color combo! But I don’t think they bloom at the same time nor (perhaps) even in the same places.

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      • mybrightlife says:

        That reminds me of another colour combo – just after I opened my restaurant which was a country venue I was given red long stem roses as a gift which for practical reasons I popped into a jug of wild sunflowers that happened to be on the counter. The effect was magical as lavender and poppies would be!

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        • Touch2Touch says:

          The red and brilliant yellow must have been spectacular!
          What kind of restaurant? Do you still have it, or since I think not, do you miss it?

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          • mybrightlife says:

            I ran a couple of restaurants and then had my own business at the same time that I had the girls. Love the business but am now taking late ‘maternity’ leave. I sold when Sarah started school as it all just became too much and I was burning out. It was a lovely rustic country restaurant with a focus on home style food. After working for others for so long it was magical to experience the freedom that comes with having ones own place. I’ll do it again one day, no doubt, but for now I am just making the most of the time I have with the girls. Thanks for asking Judith. Perhaps one day we will get to chat more about it over a pastry at one of the lovely spots you have featured on your blog since I have been following.

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          • Touch2Touch says:

            Wouldn’t it be grand! I’ll think of that next time I go to one of the cafés, and hold it as a lovely wish!
            I doubt that I would ever have had the stamina and grit to be a professional chef, but it certainly holds great fascination for me to this day. So I hope one day — if that’s what you still want to do — that you will have the opportunity. Eating in a rustic country restaurant with a focus on home style food — that’s everyone’s idea of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

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  4. Patti Kuche says:

    A touching portrait Judith, love the brilliant freshness and who doesn’t love a poppy!

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  5. C’est magnifique!
    Did I even spell that right?
    I think GOK might have had a split personality, or maybe she was just a good jokester.
    Well done, Mlle. Poppy. Great selfie. 😉

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  6. cocomino says:

    Poppy is also popular in Japan. The flower is beautiful and cute.

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  7. atwistedpair says:

    Your mention of Georgia O’Keeffe’s tongue-in-cheek comment about hating flowers reminded me of a painter I used to visit. Her studio was adorned with bundles of silk flowers, which – I soon learned – she would arrange in vases in order to make still life paintings. I never really liked them – especially when she had me take up a brush and create something with which to decorate my barren walls. I still have that gigantic, ugly watercolour, and am on the verge of cutting it up and reusing the paper. Your post might just make me do it too! 😀

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  8. Lucid Gypsy says:

    She doesn’t move but sometimes the breeze blows her!

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  9. Madhu says:

    Ah another stunner! Poppies I have seen, but not any as gorgeous as your model 🙂

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  10. 2e0mca says:

    A nice sequence of flower posts you’ve been building here Judith 🙂 Poppies have vanished from many of our fields as farmers seek to achieve maximum yields 😦 However they still adorn our hedgerows and railway embankments – notably in Norfolk where the preserved line from Sherringham to Holt is known as ‘The Poppy Line’.

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  11. A late Hello to Mam’selle POPPY! Einfach reizend.
    Unfortunately we’ve lost our salmon-colored ones. But being surrounded by wild poppies on the fields. No real summer without them!
    Herzlichst, karin

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