(Wild Cyclamen persicum)
The other night I had dinner with my dear friend Lesley Longworth. We are planning our exhibition in April 26-27/2014, and we decided to mix pleasure with project management… anyway it is always a delight to be with her. As a kind present she brought me a little plant of “cyclamen” and I was delighted with it. I’d been admiring this plant in my neighbors’ gardens, some of them are quite big and colourful. So Lesley brought me this dainty lovely plant, and I loved the cyan flowers like ballerinas prepared for their dance… Moreover, one of my favourite painters: Winifred Nicholson has made of the cyan/magenta of the cyclamen something of a legend in the colour of music!
In the language of love, giving someone a cyclamen expresses sincere feelings. It is a plant of lasting feelings and sincere affection. Thanks to its tuber, which allows it to withstand difficult conditions, the cyclamen is the flower of deep love. In the language of flowers, giving someone a cyclamen expresses love and sincere tenderness. Further, cyclamen was one of the favorite flowers of the Great Leonardo Da Vinci, and he drew it in his manuscripts and paper. The rich deep cyan hue was also used by Flemish painters to depict Biblical scenes. Besides, because the stems from its flowers which bend elegantly to lead the fruit toward the ground during its setting (this is the formation of the fruit), the cyclamen symbolised maternal love for our ancestors.
For this drawing I was perplexed by the geometric design of the leaves. I thus concentrated on finding a way to convey the angles and triangles of the undulated leaves. I also enjoyed tremendously to find the cyan colours by mixing magenta with a drop of red, and playing with the transparency offered by the water. The leaves are, in contrast, coloured on a grey-green tonality, making emphasis on the payne grey aspects of the leaves, something of a botanic Mondrian.
The cyclamen is also a symbol of sincerity and lasting feelings and what a better token of our friendship with Lesley!