Waiting for Iris
Always between May and June, beautiful purple flowers bloom from the irises planted in the yard. These purple flowers are so beautiful that I can't wait for spring to come. The blossoms are bigger than my fist, and the petals are like a fluttering butterfly, or a ballerina doing ballet.
The painting that always comes to mind when you think of irises is the famous Van Gogh iris flower. Looking at the irises blooming so beautifully in the yard every year that spring passes, you can see why Van Gogh painted irises so often.
When I see purple flowers swaying beautifully like butterflies in the wind, I think that they are flowers that fully express the beauty of purple.
In particular, the purple color of iris symbolizes good luck. Yellow iris means good news, good news. The iris I am growing is purple.
There is a legend about this iris flower from Greek mythology. But personally, I prefer the Italian legend. Because the legend tells the story of the painter and the painting.
Once upon a time in Italy, there was a beautiful widow named Iris. Despite of many love calls, she lived alone without marrying one of them. One day, while she was walking on the hill, a young painter saw her and fell in love with her, and asked her to marry her.
But she refused his propose and then asked some mission for him, "If I can draw a flower that looks like a living thing enough to allow butterflies to fly and sit on it, I'd like to get married,"
The painter finished the painting after much effort. But she saw the picture and replied "The flowers are well drawn, but there is no scent."
But then a butterfly flew from somewhere and sat on the picture. The painter said, "I won," and hugged her. The wife and the painter had a beautiful love and lived happily ever after. The flower in the picture was an iris flower.
Even in Korea's long history, there is a legend that if an artist draws well, a butterfly flies away thinking it's a real flower, and a bird flies away thinking it's a real tree.
There is no way to confirm that this was the case, but the energy must have flowed out like a fragrance from a painting. Wouldn't it be great if you could paint a picture of a flower that smells like it smells? Perhaps this mission is the final mission of not only the painters in the Italian legend, but also all the painters in the present.
Knowing the legend about irises makes me want to draw irises. I drew an iris flower as one of my current $1 watercolor painting projects.
German writer Hermann Hesse, who talks about 'the joy of gardening,' said that the year the iris blooms is the most attractive moment and a moment of grace. It is said that “the scent of iris and the appearance of the petals fluttering in various blue colors are the key to revealing the secret of creation” and “the calyx of the iris is the door to heaven”.
Purple is created by mixing red and blue. In other words, it can express the two properties of the calming stability of blue and the energetic power of red at the same time. Perhaps that's why purple is expressed in the meaning of nobility, luxury, energy, and passion. Above all, it is a good color to express spiritual energy. It seems that Hermann Hesse caught this spiritual and inner energy from the iris and felt the joy as if he was at the gates of heaven.
Next time, I want to draw an iris painting that takes into account the joy and fragrance of this artist.
Myungja Anna Koh