Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Made it into the South Dakota Magazine...second time...pinch me!!
What a year this has been!!! You might have seen the nice little article the South Dakota Magazine folks did about my 'Mt. Rushmore' pressed flower art in their May/June issue this year. Well, now I am in the November/December issue! I got a call from John Andrews, their Departments Editor, in September. He was working on an article about his travels along our SD Hwy 20. He remembered my art from the previous story they did and wanted to see the rest of them. I had all my art in Watertown getting scans for fine art prints made so I met him at Expressions Gallery, where I have two of my originals. I just received my issue in the mail the other day and I'm so pleased with the article! John did a wonderful job! '...but still speaks with a slight Southern twang'...nawwwww...not me!
Here is what John wrote in the above article:
Eight miles down the road lies Wallace, birthplace of US Senator and Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, though the sign announcing the town's claim to fame no longer stands along the highway. In Wallace we met Marie Ann Robinson, the state's only pressed flower artist. She gathers flowers, leaves, fruits and vegetables from her yard and creates award-winning pieces of art.
She showed us a sample of her work. In a Black Hills scene, a flowing waterfall is made from onion membrane, and the rocks are mushrooms. In another, the wooden walls and floor of a weathered building are day lilies. Robinson explained that after they die and are rehydrated, lilies develop a deep brown color and resembles wood grain when pressed. Her interpretation of Henri Matisse's Woman With a Hat uses peony petals, poinsettia and white poplar leaves. Robinson's popular South Dakota series includes pheasants, mallards, geese, buffalo and a work in progress featuring wild turkeys.
To prevent deterioration, the art is secured with aluminum tape and sealed beneath a layer of mylar and two pieces of glass. Oxygen absorbers and silica gel packets remove any moisture, so any changes in the botanical material won't be noticeable for decades.
In the early 1990's, Robinson was arranging wreaths and working with live flowers when she found a lily of the valley pressed in the pages of her grandmother's Bible. She learned about pressing flowers and began making small bookmarks and magnets (some are for sale at Watertown's Expressions Gallery, where you can also buy originals or prints of her larger pieces). Then a friend gave her a book on pressed flower art and she expanded into bigger pieces. She joined an international pressed flower art guild on the Internet, and learns many of her techniques from Russian and Ukrainian artists, including a new framing method that is similar to vacuum packing the art within the frame.
Robinson has lived in South Dakota since 2002, but still speaks with a slight Southern twang she developed growing up in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. She and her husband, a Webster native, lived on an acreage near Clark, where she tended 12 flower beds and a large vegetable garden. But a few years ago she decided to downsize. The flower patch at her Wallace home is considerably smaller, but she still finds what she needs around town and by exchanging materials with fellow artists.