Friday, June 11, 2010
the magician's table and floriography!
Water Color by Linda Chapman
Alice, in Through the Looking Glass was surprised to hear the Tiger lily speak. She asked, "And can all the flowers talk?" "As well as you can," said the Tiger lily, "and a great deal louder." I myself must confess that I only know a few wicked words and their meanings in the language of the flowers...here is my vocabulary up to date; yellow rose - jealousy, begonia - beware I am fanciful, gladiolus - you pierce my heart like a sword, dead leaves - melancholy, hemlock - you will be my death, nettle - cruelty!
Now for a bit of history that I have recently learned, the word tusmose, or tussie-mussie first appeared in English about 1440. By 1558, it was tuzziemuzzie, a sweet posie, a nose-gay. or some called it a “tuttie.” I had a friend growing up and her nickname was tuttie, but that’s a story for another day! Whatever this small, handheld bouquet was called, it was always associated with the “sweet” herbs that warded off the unsavory stench that offended sensitive noses in the heat of a London summer, they primarily consisted of herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and rue...
The smell of sweet herbs and all kinds of wholesome growth made the air a great nosegay. - Charles Dickens, Bleak House
In England, during Elizabethan times, judges carried tussie-mussies into their courtrooms to protect against "gaol(jail) fever." Today, judges at England's highest court, the Old Bailey, celebrate this tradition by carrying a tussie-mussie into court six times a year. The Victorians also turned flower giving into an art. it was common practice at the beginning of a courtship for suitors to give their intended a tussie-musssie. Floriography, the art of sending messages by flowers, brought a new dimension to tussie-mussies.
Chapman’s national reputation as an exceptionally gifted watercolorist has been established over her career as a professional artist since 1976.
Chapman’s works in classical realism are widely collected and have been purchased by numerous museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach, the Minnesota Museum of Art, the University of Wyoming Art Museum, Edwin Ulrich Museum of Art in Kansas, the Boise Museum of Art and the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum.
Linda Chapman was born in Bradenton, Florida. She currently makes her home in Bradenton and maintains studios in Bradenton and New York City. She exhibits her paintings in selected art galleries and accepts a limited number of commissioned works as her schedule permits.
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New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1986.
Museum of Modern Art. Works on Paper by American Artists in the Permanent Collection.
New York: M.O.M.A., 1990.
Krantz, Les. The New York Art Review.
Chicago: American References, Inc., 1988.
Avery, Anne. American Artists of Renown.
Gilmer, TX: Wilson Publishing Co.1982.
McGrath, Robert. The Face of America: Contemporary Portraits in Watercolor.
New York: Old Forge Arts Guild, 1994.
-- Point Pleasant Studios --
Contact: Julie B. Hayes