Until I came on this trip it never occurred to me that floral design is a type of art. As someone who enjoys art of all kinds and LOVES to make it, this is unacceptable. I am always the first person to say that everyone is an artist. If you think you aren’t, you either haven’t found your medium or you haven’t put in the time. And if you say you’re “not into art” I’ll say yes you are. Your clothes. Your hair cut. Your car. Your video games. TV. Movies. Music. The food on your table. Anything in your life that has any non-utility detail to it. It is all art.
When I see flower arrangement in the grocery store or in people’s homes, I never think about the human hands that created them. When I see bridal pictures with beautiful bouquets, I think that they are beautiful, but I never consider them in terms of color, composition, texture, size, direction, etc. Floral design is design. It is art. And so far, I have not developed an eye for it.
We took a floral design class with Massimo Benetti, a local florist, during which he gave us demonstrations and then set us loose to create. His demonstrations were interesting because he has a very unique style that is more naturalistic and because he creates his own structures in which to place the flowers. An example is the woven, woody structure pictured. His style was not my favorite, but hey, art is subjective.
He brought with him several crates of flowers and other plants that we could work with and then he let us have at it. It was fun thinking up palettes to work with and different textures to throw in, but in the end I decided that my arrangement was a waste of flowers, so I deconstructed it for the other girls to use. Walking around and seeing what they other girls came up with really flicked on the light bulb in my head and clued me in to the fact that floral design is art. There were so many beautiful combinations that I had never considered, and so many distinct styles.
While floral design might not be my favorite form of artistic expression, it does take time, talent, thoughtfulness, and surely some classes or mentorship. I already had an appreciation for florists from a business standpoint because I know the kind of demands they work with and the logistics that they must work out to be successful and to have fresh looking flowers. After this experience I have a new respect for them as creatives.
So floral design people, go forth and create! Make something cool and I’ll paint it for you.