Oh that flirtatious little dandelion.

It’s Valentine’s Day coming up and I bet when you think of flowers and romance you envision red roses.

But there’s another unappreciated plant that would also fit the romantic flowers category, though when I tell you what that plant is you might not believe me.

If anything this plant probably brings to mind childhood play times in the grass, fairies, wishes, free snacks for pet rabbits and if you are like my husband, sheer loathing.  As the designated person in charge of the grassy areas on our property, this plant is a thorn in his side. To be pulled and discarded at first sight.  It’s not something he wants in his garden (not that the dandelions care about those wishes), no doubt any romantic connotation is far from his mind when he sees one.  But if you look up the symbolic meanings of this plant, then you might be in for a surprise.  For something so supposedly unwanted, the results sure are poetic and beautiful.

There’s more than one meaning for this plant, and I shall focus on only one for this post.  One that is quite appropriate for a certain popular day that’s coming up, Coquetry.  The definition of coquetry is “a flirtatious manor or flirtatious behavior”.  And by plant I mean a very well known garden weed.  This fluffy little guy.

That flirtatious little dandelion puff n our garden... It's floriography meaning is coquetry.

That flirtatious little dandelion puff n our garden… It’s floriography meaning is coquetry.

Yup that’s right I am talking about the dandelion.  Dandelions are flirty.  Bet that’s not something you would have ever thought before reading this.  And if we are really honest, a lot lot cheaper than the Valentine’s Day standard of red roses.  But somehow I don’t think my husband will take up giving me dandelions as tokens of affection.  And the real thing whilst quite pretty once gone to seed is quite quite delicate.  One breath, or sneeze and you’ve got a bare stem.

This little, delicate and fun garden weed, with its surprising floriography meaning inspired me.  So I broke out the green ink again.

drawing in green ink, with a dropper. This is how my inkblot art starts.

drawing in green ink, with a dropper. This is how my inkblot art starts.

 And I started making some green grass inkblots.

Fresh green inkblots before the details of the flower have been added.

Fresh green inkblots before the details of the flower have been added.

 This time I went with silver pen instead of gold like the roses.  I felt the silver suited the green and the dandelion puff much more.

Close up of the silver details being added.

Close up of the silver details being added.

 After a few stolen work minutes here and there I finally had something finished.

Coquetry Floriography Inkblot of the Dandelion. Finished piece.

Coquetry Floriography Inkblot of the Dandelion. Finished piece.

I am pretty happy with how it came out.  It even looks good in a white frame.

Originals of two floriography inkblots featuring Dandelion/Coquetry (left in frame) and Ivy/friendship (right)

Originals of two floriography inkblots featuring Dandelion/Coquetry (left in frame) and Ivy/friendship (right)

 And as I have enjoyed creating these inkblots, and learning about floriography so much, I am going to set you all the challenge to join me.

Lets blow up our social media with beautiful flowers, plants, and beautiful sentiments.  We can fill the internet with secret messages and learn about floriography together.

I want you to share pictures of a plant or flower in your feeds be it facebook, twitter, Google+, Tsu, Pinterest, or even Instagram. It can be a photo or even a picture you drew or created.  Along with the flower or plant’s name, it’s floriography meaning and the tag #FloriographyInkblotInspiredMe so we can all see see it. Come on lets communicate through flowers and plants on the internet. It will make a pretty change in our news feeds from the usual image content we see and share, and you might find some of the meanings surprising.

I’m looking forward to seeing what you share.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. May your days be filled with coquetry and love.

Messages in Petals

Since we bought our current home and finally had our own garden, we been getting into gardening and growing things.  Well if I ‘m honest, it’s mostly been a lot of my enthusiasm and ideas and hell of a lot of V’s physical input and gardening.   Anything from roses to tomatoes and squash we have been trying to grow it.  With perhaps more emphasis on the edibles rather than ornamental plants. Having great fun growing, picking and eating the fruits of our labors….OK mostly V’s labors and my direction.

With all the new flowers and plants growing in our gardens and in the neighbors gardens I didn’t have to look far to find sights that inspired me.   I had previously bought some mini red roses and planted them in a planter on my patio and they were in full bloom.

My mini red roses.

My mini red roses.

I wanted to do something inspired by the beautiful red roses. I had also been recently reminded of the subject of Victorian Floriography, which I wanted to learn more about.  The basic premise of Floriography is that every flower or plant has a meaning attached to them.  And by understanding those meanings you can convey secret messages or sentiments to others through flower arrangements or even individual flowers.  I bought the book “The Language and Sentiment of Flowers” by James McCabe. Which is essentially a flower meaning dictionary, where you can look up either a specific flower for their meaning or a sentiment to find a flower suggestion.  I’ve really enjoyed reading this book. And have found it very helpful when researching this project. Though I have come across one or two plants  not included so far. I do recommend this book if you are looking of a Floriography dictionary.

Now I knew what my inspiration was going to be I had to decide what felt right as a medium.

A few years ago I went through an artist’s ink phase, and subsequently got into inkblots. Where I developed my own style/method of drawing with inkblots, which created some beautiful prints.  Mostly these prints revolved around flora inspirations and abstract shapes as those subjects seemed to suit the style this method resulted in. This felt light a natural fit for my new project.

I used this method to create part of my new logo which you saw in my last blog post.  My mediums of choice for this project will mostly be artist ink, pencil and pen (in this posts case oil based Sharpie), on paper.

You can never have too much ink...that is artist ink.

You can never have too much ink…that is artist ink.

And because I like to be a bit different I like to paint and draw with pipettes instead of brushes.

Not the usual artist tools

Not the usual artist tools

So I spent a little while making a mess with ink and having fun.

The beginnings of an inkblot drawing.

The beginnings of an inkblot drawing.

After it's pressed.  Not as pretty. A true inkblot now.

After it’s pressed. Not as pretty. A true inkblot now.

After that I let it dry before I went on to add the details and finish it.

So for this post I went with a specific flower and then looked up its meaning/sentiment for my inspiration rather than the sentiment being my starting point.

As I already stated, I decided to start with the red roses in my garden. So all that was left was to look up roses and their meanings whilst the ink dried.

A single red rose. Love and Simplicity.

A single red rose. Love and Simplicity.

According to some of my research roses especially red ones, generally stand for love in floriogrpahy.  But variations in colour, or even type of rose or number of blooms and if open can dictate a change in meaning. Therefore if a red rose stands for love and a single rose stands for simplicity one could interpret a single red rose for a simplistic love.

Once all was dry and I was able to pencil down some details taking a lead from the natural flow of the inkblots I ended up with two different red rose prints.

Both I gave gold pen details. Each one construes a different sentiment based on my research of floriography.

The first print features a bunch of roses on their stems with leaves.

Bunch of red roses stand for love.

Bunch of red roses stand for love.

The second piece was a single rose with some leaves visible.

A single rose stands for simplicity.

A single rose stands for simplicity.

Whilst red roses are said to hold a floriogrpahy meaning of love a single rose can sometimes mean simplicity. Therefore you could construe a single red rose as a declaration of simple love.

Overall I’ve really enjoyed making these pieces and learning more about floriography.  And I can’t wait to make more, so watch this space as it may become a regular subject on the Inspired Me Studio blog.