My grandparents have one of the most luscious yards I know, rich in flowers and plants most would kill within days. And not just your typical backyard greenery - I'm talking staghorns, trees that mystically grow without roots, and everything tropical in between. As a toddler my grandfather would carry me around, pointing to the various species. As we approached his plumeria tree the fumes must have hit my nose instantly because the "dont touch, just smell, isn't it a pretty flower?" buzzed around my head and I quickly swatted it away just as fast as I ripped the Hawaiian petals from it's life source.
And that was the day I became a botanist kleptomaniac, or in laymen's terms: I began to steal flowers.
We moved homes at age ten, a step up in the world. Mom carefully crafted her gardens, mostly busheled perennials and Pop continued to win the award for thickest, greenest grass on the block. It was also when my flower-stealing capabilities were at their strongest, as just two-doors down lived a woman, who each season took great care in planting the expensive, short-lived flowers illustrated straight out of Alice and Wonderland. Zinnias, Dandelions, Roses, oh my! I set my eyes on them faster than any Barbie doll, scooter, or LipSmacker balm. The tingles grew each time I peddled past her grove, nestled only feet from the sidewalk, protected by just a slim piece of metal edging.
To keep those tingles from turning to shakes, I began to pluck a few each month, sometimes weeks, and brought them home to my mother, face beaming with pride. Lisa would shake her head and the anticipated "Morgan Elizabeth!" would follow. It wasn't that she didn't have perfectly nice flowers herself, she did. I just knew better. I knew better than to bite the hand that fed me. And ironically enough, I took great satisfaction in helping my mother create her beds each season, watching our garden grow.
My thievery carried on a few years, dwindling as teen years came round and priorities shifted. But still, at nearly 30 years of age, I get the tingles to pluck flowers in botanical gardens, markets, and yards. And I'm still equally as obsessed with the beauty flowers hold to this day. I suppose that's why flowers constantly find their way back into my paintings. There are some things you just can't shake from your bones. And because I've gotten the tingles, and my neighbor has decided to be fuddle-dud and leave her patio bare, I suppose the only flowers I'll be staring at are ones on a canvas. So I'll embark on a new journey - meshing my love for flowers, with my love of old paper and portraits, with a bohemian flare - we all know this girl loves color. Send that good karma my way, y'all -Lord knows I need it after all the petals I've plucked. The idea isn't completely original - plenty of artist focus on bohemian bundles these days, but I hope to find it a way to make it my own. A stolen bunch of flowers from myself to you.
The Flower Thief.