Fast Flower Video: How to evaluate your arrangement
I don’t like every arrangement I make. I don’t love the flower mix every time. Sometimes I walk away feeling like there was just something a bit “off” in my planning, the implementing and the finished product. However, I never apologize for what I make or let my thoughts get fixed on the vague feeling of “off-ness.” I don’t apologize because I believe every arrangement matters. Each is an exercise in letting go, in trying, in moving forward. I don’t have to let my thoughts get fixed in negative vagueness because simple observations and knowledge of the Principles of Design help me identify just what was “off” so I can take note and adjust for next time.
In today’s time-lapse I used apple blossoms, carnations, tulips, caladium, nerine, and scabiosa. I didn’t love the result, but I did love the idea of sharing it with you anyway. I hope that leading you through the gentle process I use for observing my work will help you be more graceful towards yours. Your artist’s heart is valuable. Hidden within the walls is a wellspring of creativity.
If you feel like that spring is stuck, a critical spirit could be holding it back. Combat that by doing exactly what you don’t feel qualified to do. Get the flowers. Get the clippers, the water, the vase, and do it anyway. When you step back to look at your finished arrangement, smile and say (out loud) “it is good.” Why? Because it is good.
Is every flower perfectly placed? Is the ingredient mix on point and the color palette a sonnet? Maybe — maybe not. But hear me when I say, this is not the way to define what is good. Your brave heart and your desire to make the world beautiful is good, and this arrangement is the physical result of your bravery, and that is good.
You know what was “off” in this arrangement? It’s so simple, but it affected everything — the shape, balance, movement, rest. It was the container. I chose it because I thought it would be fun to use a container in a complimentary color to the pink (red and green are opposites on the color wheel). What I didn’t consider was the shape of the ingredients I had and the shape of the container they needed to be arranged in to show off their features best. Containers are kind of like Spanx. They hold all the flower guts in and offer the support needed to show off the outfit best. The color might have been nice, but the shape wasn’t suited to display the branches well and you’ll see me fight this from the beginning. Flowers slipping down into the abyss. The two leading tulips sinking to the same level and plane. It’s not where I placed them initially.
So how did I arrive here? Here are a few quick observations I make when something feels a bit “off.”
- Take note of the color, texture, shape, and size of each element. What is similar? What is different? Too similar or too different can result in competing elements. Try omitting an element.
- What was I seeking to accomplish and how is this different? What elements could I adjust to get closer to the target? How could adjusting placement of the elements I already have got me closer to the goal?
- Was there balance and stability after adding the first ingredient? Did I use or fight the natural shape of the ingredients? This is the question that helped me uncover the issue with this arrangement.
I don’t need a critical assessment to keep my work moving forward, and you don’t either. We need a gentle observation from a loving eye and grace to see what’s really there.