Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Art DECO Garden PRINTS at Home: Part 1

I decided for a change of pace to show you some of my favorite prints that I buy, and those are my original Art Deco garden prints of lush cottage gardens. Some of these are by the famous illustrator/ artist Atkinson Fox, some are copy-cats of that time period, and some are by a few other famous artists back in the 1920-30's time frame. 
Here I am last Summer on my stairs ( below ) , I get my son to help me take some pictures for my eBay site here, and in the background are one of  my walls of deco prints. I have collected, and sold a few, of these old original prints for about 22+ years.

They really have made me smile, when I walk up the stairs and look at them. I envision having a garden like the ones in the prints, and I also enjoy how when the seasons start to change, like they are doing now..
 I can still have that  atmosphere, through Art, of a full Springtime or Summer flower garden...all year long.
I will just start at this wall, and show you some of my old prints. I do not care if the frames match, most deco frames are angular, so they blend. They do not have to be perfect...but I try to buy them in fairly good condition. The prints, the original old lithographs I try to get in the best condition that I can. No big tears, or foxing, or water damage if I can help it. I usually pass on old prints that have that type of damage.
 Look at these flowers ! Hollyhocks, draping roses, snapdragons, cabbage roses, and peonies , and more. Another Fox print. I do not buy reproduction prints, only old originals.
Another Fox print, with a gorgeous old deco frame. I also try not to buy any old prints that have too much fading of their colors from the sun. Which happens with old prints, try to buy them with their colors fairly vibrant still.
This one is one of the few I bought that is a bit more faded and yellowed with age. I liked the frame, so I bought it anyway.
 I just buy what I really like, and since the theme is basically the same, they blend nicely together.
 Another Atkinson Fox print. I like Fox better than Maxfield Parrish, whose prints are more fantasy oriented, I do like Parrish, but Fox has more garden prints, so I like his better. Not that I would turn down a Parrish print if I got a great deal on it, as original Parrish prints sell for more than Fox prints.
But I have bought these, not for their worth in money,
but their worth in aesthetics and inspiration for me. 
This may have been my first deco garden print I bought about 20 years ago. I have three sizes of this print.
If I had more energy I would look up all these prints titles and artists for you, but my energy level is at it's lowest point of my life, so I will simply just show you these.
This is one of a pair I bought by the artist C.K. Van Nortwick. soon as I tell you I won't tell you names, then I go and tell you.
Here's the other:
 These are in excellent condition. I have many with women in gardens, half-nudes, Grecian or Roman style. This was a very popular theme in these prints and the Art deco period of 1920-30's time frame.
The smaller version of the one I have three of. I buy multiple size versions occasionally of these prints.
This is an Atkinson Fox landscape  ( The Good Luck Line ) I bought, I do not usually keep these, I strictly stay with the garden prints, so this one I will probably list on eBay. I loved the frame though.

So hard to photograph these all together as the stairway gets in the way.

I occasionally move the prints around, then I get to see a different one in a new way when I pass by. I get many compliments on these prints , which I like, but I am truly an old oil painting nut...these are secondary , but a close second in my heart to my paintings.
You could find many of these style on eBay or in some antique malls for sale. 
I have many more, I will show you the rest in one or two more posts.

I had a lady stop by and give me a card and a grief book today. She called me,  she knows my children, and was thinking of me. I do not know her very well at all. I know it is brave to confront a person who is grieving...I would say so far half the people avoid me , or never say anything about Sarah, the other half do...and often say some of the wrong things...but they mean well, and they speak.
I would rather no one speak to me, but I know that is not a healthy way to be..just how I feel . Since my stomach/rib problems, I have kept my grief in a ' box' inside me, not wanting to open it, not wanting to look at my unbearable loss close up for awhile. Keeping it closed until I get myself physically better. Even considering what has happened , just the thought of it...crushes me.

I sometimes think that I am one of those parents I never wanted to be, the one whose child was killed in an accident. Never wanted to think it could be me. I always felt so sorry for those parents, usually would not speak to them ,as I did not know them very well. I only remember two, one I spoke to, one I did not.
The one I did not, came to see me three or four days after Sarah died , and cried with me.

Back to my prints, more later for you, I hope you like them,

Monday, September 27, 2010


I decided to show a few glimpses of my garden, of what I have discovered is one of the soothing areas of my life right now. Many of the old ways I have worked out stress, like my power walks ...have not been helpful. The other problem is I have been physically beset by many various ailments that are dragging me down and under. Stomach and ribs , back are my worst areas now.
Grief hurts everywhere.
So since I am unable to garden, lift anything heavy, or even cry without pain....I wander about my garden a few times a day. No coffee, no wine, no chocolate, nothing spicy, no Italian food..on and on about the no-no's with this condition. The biggest problem I am having is not the restricted diet, it is being unable to cry over my Sarah , as the pain is so unbearable when I  even think about her, and when I start to stomach is in agony.
I feel as if I am being tortured emotionally...not being able to cry, but the stomach ulcer was my own doing.
I come and sit in my chair, I bring a towel to cushion it...and I sit and stare at my garden.
My blue plumbago is overflowing on my bricks. I used to delight in it, now I just notice it. It is still nice.
 Lovely simple flowering plant.
Here is my only company, Maxine. Plus the birds, hummingbirds, butterflies, and squirrels. 
All I can handle right now.  I am unable to keep up a decent conversation with anyone at present. So the solitude of my backyard garden, the privacy...helps me.
I think.
Various family members and friends are trying to get me to  'do ' something  , get out more, they are concerned I am grieving too much. That is incomprehensible to me, as how can I grieve too much for my Sarah ? I cannot turn my grief on and off, I can very briefly..outwardly , but I know my eyes and my silence reveal it still.
 I look around, while I sit and notice the sunlight, and the insects. I try to just ' be ' , to still my mind. But since my mind is a roller-coaster of thoughts...and I don't know how to apply the brakes...I just ride through worry and stress, and anger and sadness. But my garden does help , it seems to be nurturing me just by being there.
Many of the plants are past their prime, the plumbago is still growing strong and for the life of me I can't remember what this pretty pink fuzzy plant is that is doing beautifully still. I even looked through my little plastic tags, and cannot find it. I know you gardeners know what this is ?
Color has faded off it here.
I sit in my big white chair and I look out, my world still has a haze on it , and I am noticing that this world keeps moving, keeps starting brand new days, people keep living their lives . People out and about appear happy. I feel like I am in slow motion , being left behind.
I look down at my path,and see my birch tree leaves all raked on to it...courtesy of me the other day. I had made myself a birch tree leaf path.
I like the different colors.

I tell my little boy I am doing this,and he goes, " That's not too smart. " I say ' Why not ? " he goes, " Mom, it's Fall, soon the wind will come and blow them away ! "
I look down at my leaf path, and am amazed he is probably right, I must have been thinking like the 10 year old Gina that resides in my heart still, the wishful Gina.
I like their crunchiness factor under my feet, so I leave them for now.

The leaves are everywhere. I am sure they are in your gardens too. Fall is arriving. It makes me sadder, but also grateful for the cooler days. I think also it is because Summer was Sarah and my favorite season, so it was very hard to see the glorious displays of Summer gardens and landscapes and not have her here. Not have her ever here again to enjoy our favorite season.
So I welcome Fall more than I normally have my whole life.
 While I sit back I notice that my garden needs to be watered, so I get up to start my favorite soothing activity.
 My water therapy.

While I do this a delightful hummingbird comes directly within 1 foot of my face, flies there in mid-air...I of course cannot get a shot. And he flies off, I'm not a beautiful flower for him.
I walk around barefoot, crunching my leaves under my feet and watering.
I do look up at the sky and trees, try to see the sunlight.
I water my hibiscus.
I look way back in the back of my yard. I keep watering.
I look to the far left and see the area that is cleared for my new bushes and plantings that I cannot physically do, and that discourages me. I have on and off got mad at God for not keeping me at least physically healthy, as I have always taken care of myself ( I thought ), physically..., why He doesn't just heal these ailments quickly ? If He wants me on my knees , broken...I thought I already was. Maybe He just wants me to slow down to the speed of healing or love or Him, I really don't know.
I am a terrible, irritable patient ( griever ). I am not one of those graceful Christians showing my strong faith through sweetness and soft words in my worst trail.
I'm more of the whiners and grumblers that God gets disappointed in. 
I think.
I also realize when we all get physically run-down, we are more cranky in general.
My rationalization , or defense...but I still feel God is not happy with my attitude, my words or my actions of late. I know my witness is not what it should be.
I do not have the strength to be ' fake cheerful'.
I always thought the older people I saw out on my walks at night watering their lawns, every night...I thought they must be bored.
I did not consider they might be soothing themselves somehow.
It never crossed my mind. But since I look at trees all the time and now I get soothed by watering, I am DEFINITELY officially mature..or old.
I think.
I stuck the magnetic EB ( for Edisto Beach ) magnet on Sarah's garden sign, because when we went down in June to the beach, they were sold out of these and she really wanted one for her car. I remember telling her we would buy one when we came in August, they would have more.
I pass with the hose , my little boy's fort and see he has the reading hours for his library posted clearly now. Anyone can go up in there and read during those hours. Then he wrote this on the side...

It is part of a bigger sign he has, he wrote , "   Life is Good', the funny thing is my most depressed times in life...that little popular saying has shown up somewhere out of the blue for me to see. I can recall about 4 times , now 5, that hat has happened. Did God send that message through my little boy ?
I do not see that Life is Good right now. I KNOW it is, but I do not feel it in my heart. Just head knowledge...not deeper yet.
The entire masterpiece.
Ms. Spoiled Rotten wants back in the house.

So back we go.

This was all last week, we have much needed rain today, so I was unable to go out to my garden.

I hope your day is good, I would appreciate a small prayer concerning the doctors getting the correct diagnosis and treatment for all my problems, 
thanks very much , enjoy your watering wherever you are,