Left: The remains of the flowers
Right: After pressing. Mostly the ones near the top of the picture are the last ones I did
So I have now recorded the life of these flowers from the start until the end through drawings, photos, and finally pressing them as they were going through the various stages of dying. Strangely, they both attracted and repulsed me at this stage, the droop of the petals was quite graceful but the dead brown centres of the chrysanthemums looked really disgusting to me at first. According to sabi, things gain beauty through age, and certainly the life cycle of the flowers is very interesting to watch and record, but the actual dead petals don't hold much for me. However, I do quite like the slow disappearance and transient quality of flowers, and it is much more interesting visually to draw flowers at all the stages of development rather than identical perfect blooms. I think people get fed up of an idealised aesthetic in the end, it's not realistic, and it gets boring and depressing after a while. Reality is made up of the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, and if you can find the beauty in an ugly world, it is a much greater treasure for coming from a world you can relate to, for its authenticity, and for the hope it represents for everything else. It's also a beauty you can't take for granted. I can't really explain it very well though.