It is traditional to get a plant of hyacinth for the beginning of the year. As I decided to do more “real plants” drawings, I chose the hyacinth because it is so beautiful and also I love its intoxicating aroma and now my studio is completely taken by it. This was a relatively easy drawing, because the bulb is exposed and it is easy to see all the components of the plant; however, the flowers are a bit more complex. They look like little bells, but they also open their petals in a generous manner, thus I needed to combine the shape with the frontal view of the plant. To get the pink colour I had to mix a bit of watercolour with white gouache and apply it. I was a bit hesitant as I had not done this before, but the experiment turned very well!
Hyacinths are also flowers of deep meaning. The name is given by Greek mythology, as told by Wikipedia:
Hyacynth was a beautiful youth loved by both the god Apollo and the West Wind, Zephyr. Apollo and Hyacinth took turns at throwing the discus. Hyacinth ran to catch it to impress Apollo, but he was struck by the discus as it fell to the ground, and died. A twist in the tale makes the wind god Zephyrus responsible for the death of Hyacinth. The youth’s beauty caused a feud between Zephyrus and Apollo. Jealous that Hyacinth preferred the radiant archery god Apollo, Zephyrus blew Apollo’s discus off course, so as to injure and kill Hyacinth. Apollo did not allow Hades to claim Hyacinth. Instead, Apollo made a flower, the hyacinth, from Hyacinth’s spilled blood.
Hyacinths are also symbols for re-birth and renewal, and I find that perfect for my own life at this moment. What I enjoyed more of this flower was to think that “renewal” is something that can be both dramatic but also subtle. of course, for me to opt for art and quit partially my academic work is something of a renewal, but to be perfectly honest, I think that this phase is connected to the need of giving myself the opportunity to explore this passion of mine! Thus, the renewal is not only the external situation of role changing, but the internal decision of allowing myself to be an artist, opening time and space to “look” around and translate these visions into illustrations. It is also a matter of practice, and the more I do it, the better I’m becoming. But also it is possible to renew old habits, and the beginning of the year lends itself to new promises and practices. One of these subtle changes has been for me to be able to “stop” and see what is going on with my life. I am normally easy prey of my own feelings of anxiety and stress, but, I think that by doing my art I open a “contemplation” space… yes, some days I fall into the old habits of ‘obsession’ and perfectionism, and even art become a “project” to be managed! Anyway, although ‘working’ is something that is part of being an artist, the point of changing my life was to allow more JOY into my ways… and the hyacinth with its pink fragrant fluttering flowers remind me of this new year purpose!