Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Dutch Afternoon

The light was just right. I was running in and out of the house fixing drinks for friends (iced Lillet, ginger ale, slice of orange) when suddenly a beam landed on the dining room table with an unearthly glow.
I was transported into an Old Master painting. For a few brief moments, I heard nothing and saw nothing but those flowers.

Then the reverie broke, but wanting to remember the moment, I snapped it. 

The particulars: Saturday, 6:30pm, west-facing window, a languid Hollywood sun sinking down over the Capitol Records tower and a vase of peonies and roses taking their final bow, an act I would have completely missed had the sun not drawn attention to it. 

"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers," remarked Claude Monet.

So inspiring.

On the other hand, Eleanor Roosevelt said, "I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalog: "no good in a bed but fine up against a wall."

I think I love that quote even more.


Gigi said...

Wow, now that's a quote! Your photo is absolutely stunning, too.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I too have always loved that quote of Eleanor's. Don't you just love peonies this time of year?

The Squirrel Girl said...

HAHA! The Eleanor Roosevelt quote is brilliant!

Tropical Chateau Shop-owner said...

I love all flowers but especially peonies. When I was a child, I remember my grandmother had a HUGE bush full of them. I thought they looked like giant roses -
Your photo is very lovely and the quote as well.

pve design said...

Wonderful quote, Eleanor was quite the great dame.
My Mom loves to tell stories of her and her staunch ways.

An Old Master teacher said, "You need to have darks to let the light shine" and that is the key to the dutch masters, the contrast of dark against light.
Those flowers really shine!

Purple Flowers said...

That photo truly is the capturing of a fleeting moment.

Style Court said...

Just magical Lisa.

Laura [What I Like] said...

Aha! Now I know why my grandmother reveres Eleanor Roosevelt so. Smart, compassionate, and humorous! I never find peonies the least bit disappointing...they are always giving you these lush moments, what with their idiotically large and puffy blooms.

A Super Dilettante said...

Simply beautiful and contemplative just to look at this picture!

VictoriaArt said...

What a magical moment! I love such rare seconds, when something falls into place and we get a glimpse in a different world, like you had, stepping in the old master's path of light...It's all about seeing it! And you did!
And the quotes: I can see Monet's point, even though I am sure the painter was in him flowers or not..
Eleanor, just a great character and wits too!
A fine post, thank you.

home before dark said...
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Clarity said...

I've had a rather rosy weekend too ;)

I adore that picture, it reminds me of an early Bosschaert.

C.T. said...

What a great master you are yourself to have captures that moment! Lucky you!
And yes, I too adoooooooore this picture.

wild thyme flowers for modern romantics said...

So very pretty. I love how you have described "the particulars"! Interestingly enough my recent post is about modern still lifes.
Btw, I've borrowed the Beaton Diaries from my local library and thoroughly enjoying. Thank you so much for the recommendation.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Hi Lisa-

It is also very Fantin-Latour--and very Rembrandt.
It is a classic image--that could also have inspired Matisse and Redon and all the Dutch interiors painters.

How lovely.

Light--and the way it changes all day--is such an important and exciting part of an interior.

happy days, DIANE

Bart Boehlert said...

Beautiful shot. Don't you find as a blogger you are like, "Hold everything, I have to take a picture!"

Pigtown-Design said...

Great shot! and gorgeous flowers.

I managed to get one of those Old Master's type shots of a bowl of apples and an antique wedgwood milk bowl on a rough wooden table, with a low sun lighting it.

Prairie Girl Studio said...

'for a few brief moments, i heard nothing and saw nothing but those flowers' ... i was totally transcended between the photo and your words ... the light is heavenly and i can see how it absolutely stopped you and begged you to capture it ...
creamy ... dreamy ... rich ... and almost mysteriously dark ...
i have a whole new *giggly* thought about roses ~ thanks to eleanor... and to you lisa!

vicki archer said...

Fantastic quote of Eleanor Roosevelt. Your photograph is beautiful and the comparison to an Old Master exactly right. xv

Susan's Snippets said...

Lisa -

Great shot.

Eleanor's quote made me laugh out loud remembering a rose bush that was bought by my husband (now ex) for my children to give me for Mother's Day...the name of the rose - "Golden Showers".

To which I thought..."Perv!"

the nerve

Paul Pincus said...

lol! i LOVE the quote.

you're good!!! the photograph is stunning!

Angie said...

That would make a gorgeous embroidered pillow.

TheDecoDetective said...

That photo is so great, I thought it was something out of an art photography book! And the quote is unbelievable. This proves the fact that you should always read through what you've written to see if it actually says what's in your head. Thank you for the first laugh of the day! I'm forwarding it to my BF.

disa said...



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