At this time every year, I marvel at new beginnings, and never cease to be amazed at how Mother Nature turns it out, right on cue when we most need inspiration and uplifting after a long winter (at least in my parts.) Spring to me is both about external renewal in my garden – that honestly I find difficult to put into words sometimes, instead these images do the job much better, and also internal renewal – in this instance learning new things, expanding one’s mind and having the energy to venture into fresh challenges.
Every blossom reignites my love of color and design. Each Spring the daffodils, snowdrops, hyacinth, tulips, fritillary followed by the lily of the valley and lilac blooms present us with their beauty, and once again awaken in all of us the magic of nature. Year after year these flowers bring pleasure and inspiration. Whether it is contemplative joy, making bouquets, taking photographs, or inspiring a new painting, the renewal comes when we see these beauties unfurl, and we once again gaze at them with astonishment.
In Spring I feel as if all my senses are more acute, and my mind seems to percolate with new interests and ideas, and I feel I am more open to the new – which brings to mind two recent experiences :
Despite not modeling for at least 40 years, I couldn’t say no to my friend Susan Walker, the creator of Ibu. She and Ali MacGraw collaborated on a lovely collection, appropriately called Ali. They sweetly asked me to represent the “middle aged” contingent in the Ibu show in Charleston earlier this month. In fact, I was more than honored to play even a small role with this incredible organization – not to mention experiencing the adrenalin rush as I stepped foot back on that cat walk!
Ibu has a store in Charleston and an online shopping site, selling items from 71 female artisan groups in 34 countries. Splendid, luxurious offerings that ultimately provide these women with a purposeful path to economic self-sufficiency. Read more here.
What a fun day it was hanging out with these very young beauties with their freshness and enthusiasm.
Above right – Ali is spirited and enthuses all of us to have fun and let it shine.
The New Old House
I have had the privilege to work on my last three books: A Passion for Interiors, Flowers and At Home in the Garden with a gifted writer named Marc Kristal. Marc is the man that takes my stories about subjects, which I am quite passionate about, and somehow distills all those thoughts and rambling ideas into an elegant and readable text. His writing specialties are really screen plays and architecture, but when I mentioned gardens and flowers he said, ‘Well let’s have a go at it.’ That we did, aided by a lot of laughs and a few glasses of red wine!
As a confirmed classicist, I still pride myself on being able to stop and have my eyes opened to all things modern, despite it not really being my cup of tea. Marc’s new book The New Old House did exactly this. The projects Marc has selected – including one, surprisingly, by the re-builder of Weatherstone, Allan Greenberg – demonstrate the beauty, and indeed unity that can be achieved by a mutually enriching interweaving of historic and contemporary architecture. Ranging from fancy to simple, castle to cottage, the book demonstrates that even things to which we’re not naturally attracted can have rich and powerful appeal. Additionally, as expected, his writing is so engaging, one effortlessly learns.
The integration of the old and the new is fascinating both to see and read. You can get more information about the book here.
For the rest of spring and through out the summer I plan to continue to feed my spirit with reading, painting and making the most of this beauty….. fingers crossed!