When Fashion and Nature Collide – May 2019 Flowers and Illusion

I will start with the usual reminder of who we are, for new visitors.

The team consists of Dominique Nancy of 3C Style in Canada, Lisa Lawrence of Lismore Paper in the USA, and myself in the UK. We work closely each month to bring you three intertwined posts with a common theme. We are all three very creative people who met via our WP blogs. We have a shared ethos and a close friendship. Our motto – ‘An ocean apart but we share the same heart’ describes us perfectly. The five hour time difference means I spend my morning commute catching up with their conversations during the night, and waiting for them to wake up so I can join in!

By the time of the June edition we will have all met for the first time. We gather in Montreal at the end of this month for our first face-to-face meeting!

Make sure you visit Dominique and Lisa via the links above, to see the whole of the post.

This month we have ‘Illusion’ for our theme. For a plant enthusiast this is an absolute gift as plants (and animals) have myriad adaptations in the form of illusions, either to avoid predation or to attract pollinators. I could write a post every week for a year on some variation of this topic.

Indeed – I have already touched upon the topic in previous posts. Lithops are disguised as stones to avoid the gaze of grazing animals. Some flowers smell like rotting meat or dung to deceive flies into pollinating them.

For this post Dominique chose flowers or critters that present the illusion of being something different.

Moraea/butterflies

Photo of 3C Style by Marie-Claude Viola, art by Darren, Styling and collage by 3C Style

 

Moraea is a genus in the Iris family (and was restricted to Southern Africa until botanists recently decided to incorporate two species found in Mediterranean Europe and Western Asia) This piece has been shown before (and prints are available on my NuMonday shop – hint hint..) and features several South African species.

But during the creative process Dominique and I were already plotting to use the flowers for other projects! Their resemblance to butterflies inspired us to have them printed onto a scarf which Dominique beautifully models here. I can have these printed to order if anyone is interested – please get in touch. They are expensive items to have printed for stock ‘just in case’ but eventually I might add them to the shop.

Meanwhile, I awoke this morning to discover that the ladies have been busy and that the design is now available on some products on the Threadless store.

Collage by 3C Style. Lettering created by Lisa.

Stick insect with pink wings

Model, concept, styling and collage by Dominique, Critter photo, Darren. 3C Style photo by Marie-Claude Viola

This stick insect with pink wings was photographed in a display at the Insectarium in the Botanical Gardens in Montreal during my visit in September. It reminded Dominique of a ballerina so I was expecting photos of her in a tutu. She resisted this notion however!

Lisa was inspired by this picture to create her super-cute ‘Tiny Dancer’ artwork:

Tiny Dancer artwork and collage by Lisa! Other credits as above.

There are several species of stick insects with pink wings. Necroscia annulipes from Malaysia can kept as an easy and undemanding pet.

Horned poppy, Glaucium flavum

Art by Lisa. 3C Style photo by Annie Gaudreau concept, styling and collage by 3C Style

The creation of the above images of Dominique are a fascinating tale in themselves. And visit Lisa’s log for more on the beautiful Art Deco style artwork that you can see in the above collage.

The orange form of this was photographed in my garden where it makes a very attractive but short lived perennial plant which has gorgeous leaves in the winter.

The normal form is the bright yellow.

Normal yellow form – image from Pixabay.

Very much a plant of coastal habitats around Med it is also found wild on British coasts. It is classed as a noxious weed in parts of North America where it was introduced.

I find it very easy on the rock garden. A very few self-sown seedlings have appeared and for propagation it is probably better to collect the long thin seed pods as they start to go brown, and store them in a paper bag until they spit and release seeds which can then be sown as normal.

 

Red peony – Paeonia tenuifolia

Collage, concept and styling by 3C style. Art by Lisa. Flower photo by Darren. 3C style photo by Marie-Claude Viola

Lisa showed artwork of this red peony and Both Dominique and I loved it. Dominique decided to style it this month and this made me happy because it is a favourite peony species of mine (I like pretty much all the species Paeonia).

Paeonia tenuifolia is found wild in an area centred on the Caucasus mountains of Russia. The literal translation is ‘fine-leaved peony’ because of those lovely feathery leaves. It is a plant of sunny mountain slopes where it flowers in spring and dies back during the hot dry summers. It is not a difficult plant in gardens. My own plants were raised from seed by me and were not a problem. However – it does really like a sunny position or plants get leggy and flop. The best plants I know are on the rock garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

We are offering the lovely red Peony on a number of items on our Threadless store:

Collage by Lisa – other credits as above.

Pocket Ostrich

This cheeky bird was (understandably) quite taken with Dominique back in September and I thought it would look cute peering from a pocket, just as it did looking over the fence of its enclosure.

I tried to do something digitally with my original photo but was unhappy whatever I tried. So, despite never having drawn a bird in my life I picked up my pencils and did this the hard way. Several of you saw my progress updates on Instagram. It turned out to be tremendous fun and very liberating to stretch myself this way. I am really pleased with the result and Lisa has been busy formatting this to make it available on products in our Threadless store!

Collage by Dominique

A final note on this piece – this collaborative project has pushed me creatively in so many ways, from new artistic subjects to my first attempts a fashion photography. I addition to my friendship with my partners it is the excitement of new creative outlets and methods that is bringing me so much joy.

With this in mind, I offer a tease of an upcoming design based on a concept from Dominique. It required me to draw wood grain for the first time ever!

Shop links:

My own prints

Fashioned by Nature

25 Comments

  1. Darren, what an amazing and truly inspiring collaboration this month. All three of you seem to have stretched your limits and there’s so much to love in all of these creations. Love the flowers, the vibrant colours and artwork and the cute bird poking out of the pocket. A big well done to you all. Oh, and have fun meeting for the first time. That’ll will so exciting!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Thank you so much for this lovely comment Miriam. I am delighted you noticed that we have been very much encouraging each other to constantly stretch. Yes – it will not be long now until we meet!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This whole post has a beautiful feel to it Darren. I just love the ostrich artwork so much. it makes me smile every time I see it. Stunning artwork. You and Lisa are so talented. I’m blessed to be working with you both. Much love!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Darren this is one of my favorite posts! You need to draw more critters my friend! You inspire me beyond belief, I truly could sit and watch you draw for hours. Your talent is amazing! Thank you for putting up with our midnight emails and ideas 😘😍🤗 Love and big hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you my friend! It truly excites me the way this project is pushing me out of my artistic comfort zone. I am always delighted to hear from you two – even at crazy hours! Huge hug right back❤

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you so much. It was so much fun drawing that ostrich, and so much faster than my botanical work too. It is wonderful when you leave your comfort zone and it pays off so well😍

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I agree with all of the above Darren! Beautiful variations on your style and I love the detail and quality here. I am interested in so many of these items to buy! I especially love the scarf. I will head over to the site to look 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank you😍. The scarf is a future possibility at this stage. They are too expensive for me to print to hold in stock so I appreciate that feedback as it makes that option seem less risky.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Good idea and I will try to remember. The links are in separate pages on my site but of course a lot of people read posts in WP reader so that is not so obvious. I have now added them to the end of the post 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Every month I want to say the same thing: “This is wonderful!!” The colors, the designs…whether it be Lisa’s awesome artwork, Dominique’s impeccable fashion sense, or your amazing creations…it’s all just wonderful! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

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