When I was little, my dad used to go out to the rose bushes planted in front of my bedroom window and bring one to my mom, and then one to me. A rose is probably my first memory of flowers, and my subsequent obsession with garden roses started early. My grandmother (paternal), had the same obsession. She was a painter, as am I. Our house is filled with her watercolors of the garden roses she grew. In fact, my first large scale watercolor painting was a of huge tea rose. I showed it to my grandmother when I was finished, and with her minimal verbal skills (she had suffered many strokes by this time) she broke down just what was wrong with it, where it needed work, how I should use my brush and lighten up on the pigment, here, here, and here… At the time I was about 16, and still very sensitive. I took the critique a little hard, but as an adult, I appreciate her even more for it. She was a badass. A woman full of artistic inspiration who built a life where she could create. I have randomly ended up in a part of CA where she raised her family ~ and grew and babied all her gorgeous rose bushes. I never had a connection here other than my aunt, uncle and cousins lived here, and my parents grew up here. I came kicking and screaming… I did not want to leave where I was, but life is so often out of our control. About a year ago I fully embraced being in Southern CA again. I also embraced the town in which I live. I enjoy being able to drive around these streets and think about my family history. And that brings us back to the roses. It’s hot here… Like surface of the sun hot. And that produces the most beautiful roses. If you’re up around 5am and drive down Euclid Avenue, you might see me walking up and down the center divider, cutting roses. Every time I jay walk across the street, hoping to not be stopped by a cop, I think of my badass grandma. And how she’d do the same thing for her art. The embracing of my surroundings has helped everything. I still miss my old town, but I have a strong appreciation for where I am now. All the roses from this shoot came from that center divider. I picked the grape vines from the acres of vineyards down the street from my house. Another benefit of boiling in the summer… That heat really does produce a lot of beauty ~ and good wine.
These gorgeous, gorgeous photos are from my friend and a wonderful artistic collaborator, Tonya of Tonya Joy Photography. She wanted to do an inspiration shoot after her baby was born and she came up with this stunning fall theme. All she asked were for some “berry” colored florals, so I got out my shears and drove to the next town over. Someday I’ll have my own rose bushes, but until then, I’ll happily help the city gardeners out and do a little pruning here and there. Enjoy these photos, I really do love this series.
Aren’t those pastries incredible?!? Friends, Kelsey Crowder and Kristina Kendig, baked up all the goodies, and they are so pretty. I’m sure they tasted amazing too. From what I’ve been told, Kristina is THE baker. Our models gorgeous hair and make-up was done by Katrina Kirk of Kitsch by Kat. This shoot was also feature on Grey Likes Wedding ~ one of my favorite blogs, so that was a definite treat! And if you’re wondering about the gold sequined dress… Tonya made it from a few separate pieces in her closet. That woman is force, I tell ya. With a little thread, some spray paint, and a camera, she comes up with gold. Love it all.