Bella Fiori - of Austin
Bella Blog

Recognition

When you make art for a living, it's lovely to have it noticed!  I was honored to be recognized by FlorInt, an international floral organization, for my wedding bouquet designs.  Original post is linked here:


Repost: "Funny, she doesn't LOOK Flemish..."

Those of you who know me know I'm both musician and floral artist.  In honor of this weekend's concert with the Texas Early Music Project, a series entitled "Dutch Treat: The Golden Age in the Netherlands," I'm reposting this blog post from a while back.  If you're in Austin this weekend, come see the concert!
===========================================


Rebecca: Posted on Wednesday, November 05, 2014 1:16 PM

This is an example of one of my favorite design styles: Flemish!  You see a lot of this style in weddings these days.  Lush, colorful, fabulous.  Gah!  I love it.



What's Flemish design?  I'm so glad you asked.

If you were from the medieval land of Flanders (that always makes me laugh, because I hear it in Homer Simpson's voice), you'd be Flemish.  Modern day Flanders (snicker) covers Belgium, France, and Holland.  So you get the idea.  Now take a gander at some of the paintings from that region between 1550 and 1700; you'll see the opulence of everything.  It had to be lush, full, dripping with more, more, more.

Flemish design in the floral world is intended to emulate the paintings from that period.  You find lots of color, lots of variety, even fruits & veg.  Sometimes you'll see found objects and treasures incorporated, and you'll see natural objects like bird's nests and feathers.




As far as wedding design trends go, Flemish-style bouquets are evolving in a more modern, but still opulent, direction:  the Brooch Bouquet.  (You can thank The Great Gatsby movie for that.)  Brooch Bouquets are becoming quite the rage, and I am getting more and more inquires about them and requests for custom pieces.


I had a lovely time making this Flemish design.  And I got a fruit salad out of it after it was finished!   ;-)



-Rebecca



"Let the beauty we love be what we do."  -Rumi

2015 in Review



I'm very lucky to be able to do what I do.  Not many artists can say they have a home studio and regular (or even semi-regular) projects.  I've pulled together a collection of photos from just a few of the projects I had in 2015, and as I look them over I feel a real sense of happiness and accomplishment.  I hope you enjoy them, too.



Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise
Over 3 feet tall, saturated with gorgeous color. Had to be assembled on site because of its size.
Valentine Connections
A collection of 6 smaller vases, connected by a lacework of long red midollino sticks to create a larger presentation. This kind of "breakaway" centerpiece is nice to share at the end of an event among many friends, who each get to take a piece home.
Valentine Connections
Calla Line
Calla Line
A dramatic line arrangement of pink callas in a footed bowl. Loved this.
Love Wins
A celebration of the historic (and long overdue) marriage equality decision.
Love Wins
The Hogwart's Crest
The Hogwart's Crest
A floral interpretation of the crest of the Hogwart's School.
Rose Crescent
A crescent line of roses surrounding a focal stack of red gerbera. So much fun.
Rose Crescent
Autumn Copper
Autumn Copper
Unusual mix of unexpected purple and red in a fall palette. One of my favorites.
Feathers and Faerie Lights
Centerpiece from an event I hosted at Mercury Hall. There were 8 of these, in various colors. Beautiful in the dimmed light.
Feathers and Faerie Lights





Love Wins


Today is an historic, wonderful day, and I celebrate with everyone who believes that Love is Love.


Art = Awesome.

I've been having the best time in my new role as "professional flower service provider" at a local church here in Austin.  I thought I should post some sample projects.  Enjoy!


















































"Let the beauty we love be what we do."  -Rumi






New Year, New Endeavors


I recently became the vendor for the weekly sanctuary flower dedications at a local church.  The above picture is of my first arrangement for this professional flower service, delivered and displayed the first Sunday of January.  The church member who ordered the flowers asked for a purple and silver color scheme, in a radiating fan shape.


As you can see, the display space in this sanctuary poses a real design challenge; anything you put there ends up being completely dwarfed by the space:


To counteract the dwarfing effect, I chose a trumpet vase which was about 18" tall, placed the finished arrangement on a cake stand, and draped the stand with a color-coordinated fabric.  The flower arrangement itself was over 2 feet tall, but with the added height and width of the display props, it filled the big presentation space very nicely.

Aside from the gorgeous color scheme, I loved the sparkle in this design!  The glittery ting-ting stems, along with several purple and silver beaded items I had on hand, gave the whole design a glimmer and shine that just screamed "Happy New Year!"




I was so pleased with this initial offering.  I've received many excited compliments about it, and it seems to have generated interest from other members; I've already received two more orders.  I hope I can prove myself worthy of their trust, and generate more demand for these flower dedications.

Yuletide 2014




















A Yuletide design of poinsettia, birch, curly willow, and red carnations.  Branches and foliage were from my own garden and houseplants. 

I love the little red bird!



This went to my family's home for Christmas Day dinner.  We set it in a large window in the dining room, and admired it all day. 

I love designs like this.  They're bright with seasonal color, and smell heavenly.



Space has a shape; imperfection has a beauty


In the Japanese art of ikebana, perception of beauty is largely based on space, especially space as found in nature.  Not enough space between the design elements removes the peace and invites the chaos of clutter.  Clutter is noisy to the eye; space is serenity.

Proper use of negative space allows the positive elements in the piece to form lines that provide structure and are rhythmic to the eye, inviting the viewer on a musical journey through the piece.

("'Musical journey?'  What?")  Yep.  Principles of floral design are absolutely musical.  Leaf through any design textbook and you'll find descriptors like rhythm, tempo, and harmony (especially with regard to color harmony).


What sort of trip does your eye take through this design?  My eye enjoys the implied heaviness of the stones at the base, and the terracing of the container levels, like little steps.  I like the swirling of the grass loops sheltering the spider mums at the focal point, and I like following the curly willow up the right side of the tall mum and around the top of it; that branch frames the flower so wonderfully. 

And then my eye lands on that adorable droopy petal!  I love that droopy petal.  This is wabi-sabi.

Ask an American to define wabi-sabi, and if they have heard of it, they'll likely say, "It's when imperfect things are beautiful.  Like shabby-chic!"

Well, kinda.

There's an old parable about the Wabi-Sabi Aesthetic that goes a little sumthin' like this:

Sen no Rikyu desired to learn The Way of Tea and so visited the Tea Master, Takeno Joo.  As a simple test of whether to accept Rikyu, Joo ordered him to tend the garden.  Rikyu raked the garden until the ground was in perfect order.  When he had finished, he surveyed his work.  He then shook a cherry tree, causing a few flowers and leaves to fall randomly on the ground.  At that moment Takeno Joo knew Sen no Rikyu would be one of the greatest examples of the wabi-sabi way of life.

Does this mean the student needed to know wabi-sabi before he could learn wabi-sabi?  Hm.  At any rate, back to the design:  I purposely left the droopy petal intact rather than pull it out, because I found it so beautiful/tiny/simple/natural.  I had already decided to use the branch of curly willow to frame the tall flower, and the addition of the unexpected line of the little droopy petal to the negative space inside that frame was the perfect touch to the overall movement... just a small bit of punctuation... like when an orchestra ends a piece of music with a lovely little pizzicato from the strings.

See?  Music.    :-)


- Rebecca


"Let the beauty we love be what we do."




(P.S.  I created this piece in honor of a colleague who passed away this past year.  She was an amazing person and I miss her sweet face.)




Funny... She doesn't LOOK Flemish...



This is an example of one of my favorite design styles: Flemish!  You see a lot of this style in weddings these days.  Lush, colorful, fabulous.  Gah!  I love it.


What's Flemish design?  I'm so glad you asked.

If you were from the medieval land of Flanders (that always makes me laugh, because I hear it in Homer Simpson's voice), you'd be Flemish.  Modern day Flanders (snicker) covers Belgium, France, and Holland.  So you get the idea.  Now take a gander at some of the paintings from that region between 1550 and 1700; you'll see the opulence of everything.  It had to be lush, full, dripping with more, more, more.

Flemish design in the floral world is intended to emulate the paintings from that period.  You find lots of color, lots of variety, even fruits & veg.  Sometimes you'll see found objects and treasures incorporated, and you'll see natural objects like bird's nests and feathers.



As far as wedding design trends go, Flemish-style bouquets are evolving in a more modern, but still opulent, direction:  the Brooch Bouquet.  (You can thank The Great Gatsby movie for that.)  Brooch Bouquets are becoming quite the rage, and I am getting more and more inquires about them and requests for custom pieces.


I had a lovely time making this Flemish design.  And I got a fruit salad out of it after it was finished!   ;-)



-Rebecca



"Let the beauty we love be what we do."  -Rumi










a little Halloween humor 31OCT2014


I designed this art piece for a Halloween office party at the University of Texas Press with a bit of publishing humor in mind.

I used a large apothecary jar, and inverted the lid to hold the floral arrangement on top.  Inside the jar, I created a miniature cemetery scene, with little dead trees, sand, gravel, bushes, and a gravestone in the center.





I enjoyed making this piece very much!  The gang at UT Press has a great sense of humor.   :-)


-Rebecca





"Let the beauty we love be what we do."  -Rumi