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:
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.)