Flora in Winter

Flora in WinterIf it is the end of January, it is time for Flora In Winter, the much anticipated annual event at the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester MA.  I am very thrilled and excited to say that the main image for the event, above, is a section of my 2012 design interpreting “Opal”, a painting by Anders Zorn visible beyond the flowers.

Flora in Winter signI am a billboard, not once but twice!  As a member of a GCA club I know billboards are not the thing, but……  The story goes that in the 1920’s and 1930’s club members had axes in their cars to cut the billboards down.  When I went to Worcester yesterday I thought maybe one of my confrere had been at work – never found the billboard.  Couldn’t blame it on the heavy fog, either.

Billboard on Mass PikeHowever, today, braving the really scary traffic walking along I-90, I got a picture of it – pretty darn handsome billboard if you ask me!  If you are traveling the Mass Pike going east, it is between Exits 11-12.  Coming from CT, another WAM billboard is also on I-84 somewhere north of Hartford.

Zorn painting with flowersHere is the original design in front of the Zorn painting.  For another look at the 2012 Flora paste the link below into your browser.  Halfway down the page of the Worcester Telegram you will see a brief, oddly edited video, with an interview with moi – yes this is the nauseatingly narcissistic post of the year – it is the last minute of the two minutes:


Print by Toshi at WAM

Worcester Art Museum photpgraph

For this year’s “Flora”, I selected a print by Yoshiro Toshi entitled “Two Lanterns”.  As I wrote for the catalogue, “ I am always drawn to Japanese art for its unique aesthetic.  Our family lived in Tokyo for four magical years.  When we left, I tried to bring as much of it back with me as I could.  In choosing this print, I thought to use some of these pieces, but, in the end, I had to create my own containers.  My design focuses on the blocks of color and the calligraphy of the branches.”

Flora in Winter design by Susan DetjensHere is the result.  The ranunculus (from a local grower) is in a heavy pin holder in a two inch deep cake pan, surrounded by Styrofoam rings wrapped with brown florist stem wrap.  The tall ‘container’ is a plastic container used to hold sand for weddings, wrapped with a mat used for making sushi.  The base of the design is covered with Japanese artist papers which I have outlined with white paint to mimic the white outlines used in the print.  As I said in the video, I don’t always make such a literal interpretation of each aspect of a work of art but this time I thought it gave a little animation to my design.

sunny flowers at Flora in WinterFearing for the fate of the ranunculus in the museum for four days, I also added similarly colored mums, roses and hypericum.  Should the ranunculus fail, these can take over the design without losing the color.  Sunday’s post will cover many of the wonderful designs created today.  If you are near Worcester, do visit – Friday to Sunday.


About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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