Hydrangeas covered in violet blue petals and pale blue buds like pearls, rekindled memories of the sea and my frequent visits to the north Cornwall coast. The name hydrangea comes from the Greek words ‘hydros’, meaning water, and ‘angos’, meaning jar. Until the Victorian period, it was a flower associated with heartfelt emotion, true feelings and gratitude.
‘In music, a light blue is like a flute,’ wrote Kandinsky (‘Concerning the spiritual in art’). A Greek myth tells how ATHENE (Athena) invented the flute and was the Olympian goddess of wisdom (owl symbol) and strategy. In my painting, she is the guardian of civilization. Her themes include protection, courage, and the arts and crafts.
‘And in my latest hour, peace and health, propitious times, and necessary wealth,
And, ever present, be thy vot’ries aid, O, much implor’d, art’s parent, blue eyed maid.’ ‘To Pallas (Athene)’
Orphic Hymns #31 Aaron J. Atsma
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