For these two latest paintings, I took inspiration from William Morris, the great textile designer, artist, craftsman and poet of the British Arts and Crafts Movement. Throughout his work he sought to marry art with nature. In “Strawberry Thief” Morris depicted the little bird thrushes that stole fruit from his garden at his home, Kelmscott Manor in Oxfordshire. In my painting, the figure is clothed in a jacket reminiscent of William Morris’ design only this time the thrushes are live companions or conspirators with their strawberry loot. For “Sweetbriar and Bluebirds” I gleaned from two William Morris wallpaper patterns “Trellis” and “Sweetbriar” where once again, where the sweetbriar roses and birds surround the figure of Flora heralding springtime.
The past is not dead, it is living in us, and will be alive in the future which we are now helping to make.~ William Morris
Flora~ William Morris
I am the handmaid of the earth,
I broider fair her glorious gown,
And deck her on her days of mirth
With many a garland of renown.
And while Earth’s little ones are fain
And play about the Mother’s hem,
I scatter every gift I gain
From sun and wind to gladden them.