Saturday, January 23, 2010

Seven tulips

Acrylic painted fiber collage on burlap with wood beads.

Memories of my grandma Maria's garden are so vivid and engraved in the deepest drawers in my soul. She lived in the small town Đakovo in the Slavonia region, in the eastern part of Croatia. The town is situated on a not so steep hill, surrounded by flat lands full of fields. On the top of the hill is a St. Peter and St. Paul's Cathedral.
I had spent a good part of my childhood there, and most of my summer breaks.
Both of my grandparents were artisans. My grandfather was a blacksmith making ornamental ironwork.  He had a shop behind the house. It was a very mystical, dark place to me with it's own smells, so many tools, fireplace and huge dusty bellow . When I was really small I was afraid to go in there alone, fearing that there is some kind of monster lurking from a dark corner.
My grandmother is responsible for my immersion into many craft techniques from my early age. Cross stitching was a first thing I was taught, continuing with embroidery, knitting, crocheting, sewing etc. She made custom order pillows with ribbon flowers embroidery. It was in fashion in 60s and 70s, so every house had to had those pillows. She designed her own wall stencils and painted many interiors through the town. On the weekends, she had her tent on the local farmers market selling girls dresses she would sew through the week, along with other stuff she created and fresh cut flowers from her garden.
She had a green thumb. There were so many different types of flowers, and I remember her tall Gladiolus, Tulips, Roses and many more. She would wake up at dawn to water them. Under her hands the flowers were singing an ode to joy. Along with the flowers, grandma would always have a small strawberry patch for me. I would go in the morning to pick up the strawberries for breakfast, listening to the busy bees flying around me and pollinating those serious tall standing Gladiolus and Tulips.