Paying homage to a dead poinsettia

My poinsettia died. My mother had the poinsettia, then gifted her (the poinsettia) to me. I repotted her and she immediately became this crazy, quirky bonsai version of a poinsettia with tiny delicate leaves and gnarled branches. She was beautiful and gentle, and seemed strong and quite unique. My mother didn’t recognise her when she visited.

My poinsettia started dropping leaves and we recorded the exquisite form of the leaves, and I started painting them. We then went to Japan and when we came home my poinsettia had died. She died even before my mother came (after a few days) to water her.

Dried poinsettia leaves

Dried poinsettia leaves

A number of the works in my exhibition at the Ensemble Theatre pay homage to my poinsettia. I hope I have captured her spirit and made her larger than life. In the work ‘Centrepiece’, her leaves are permanently encased and protected. In ‘Yule (flor de Noche Buena), her colour is intensely and lavishly displayed. The irony of the ‘Fall Remnant’ paintings exhibits her on a big textured white stage. In ‘Kawaii charm (lucky blossoms)’ she is apotheosised and integrated into an ‘amulet’.

Choices: a few of my favourite things

My digital works have been printed ( and are now at the framers ( Here is a little preview of 4 of the 8 digital works. I’ve chosen a favourite detail of each work to show you. The detail I’ve chosen is also outlined in black in the thumbnail of the work. If you mouse over the image the colour is better—I like this WordPress theme (misty lake), but the design ‘mists’ the images until you mouse over, therefore the true colour of the image is not what you see at first.

Title: ‘FAN OF THE WAVE’  Size: 80cm x 80cm

I’m a big fan of the wave! This detail shows Hokusai’s ‘Great Wave’ in a central glassy bubble, from which a fan of the wave radiates.

fan_detailweb     fan_thumb

Title: ‘CENTREPIECE’  Size: 26cm x 30cm

This was an exercise in placing objects inside ‘orbs’. I used photographs of fallen poinsettia leaves, which were then digitally coloured, blended and layered. This detail shows the central ‘glow’ of the orb.

centrepiece_detail     centrepiece_thumb

Title: ‘YULE (Flor de Noche Buena)’  Size: 80cm x 80cm

I was thinking about Juju hats when I was creating this work. Representations of Poinsettia leaves have been ‘collaged’ radiating out from the centre. This detail shows the layering, which intentionally looks random.

yule_detailweb   yule_thumb

Title: ‘REIKI BALL’  Size: 30cm x 80cm

This work harks back somewhat to my set painting days at the Kirribilli pub theatre. I tended to use designs that were simple and/or geometric to give the small performance space some depth. This detail shows the digital weaving of photographed textured paper, and the ball with Seikaha wave pattern (a motif that appears in a number of works).

reikiball_detailweb   reikiball_thumb

I’ll post some details of the mixed media and painted works soon.