Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Authentic as the Iris

Radiance and Authenticity, mixed media collage, 6" x 8"

With some stellar help from Mlle. Mishel over at Eat Dirt and Write, I have been exploring my authentic self -- the self that radiates Courtney-ness without self-consciousness and worry. This self just is. An image that seems to embody this feeling of authenticity for me is an iris (at least for now -- it could change at any moment).

What I didn't know about irises until I did some searching was that an iris has three large petals called "standards" and three outer mini-petals (or sepals) called "falls" (see iris diagram in background of art piece by clicking on image for larger view). I wonder if my life is a bit like these standards and falls. Sometimes I feel vibrant and visible (I'm still working on this one) like those prominant petals and often I feel like I am peeking out from behind my life like a little fall.

In what parts of your life do you feel more like a bold standard and when do you feel like the subtle and delicate fall? What would happen if you played with these aspects of yourself a bit? What if you stepped back to observe more in a situation in which you are usually leading the show? Or what if you took a risk and flared your colorful petals at the world with one of your hidden (or at least not so visible) gifts?


  1. Hmmm, I was looking for something new to think about today. My favorite flower is the grape hyacinth. Pleasant, fleeting. Those little purple/blue bell are held tight to the stem. The bees must find it hard to get in. But they try and eventually, I assume, succeed.

    I have an art event to attend tonight. I have donated a piece for a fundraiser and I have to to and hobnob. I would love to be an iris for this event and open up a little bit. However, I sure the grape hyacinth will take over and I will keep to myself.

  2. (as a fellow writer:) I love your analogy between the iris and your life and I appreciate the way creative writing is woven into your art. Found you at Sharmond's blog - she's nominated me for a Lemonade award as well!
    Take care!

  3. Hi Courtney,
    I often visit your blog, and find your work inspiring. I've nominated you for a Lemonade award. You can check this out at

    I, too, am fascinated by the human/animal connection, especially the symbolism of birds. Perhaps we were birds in a past life? I also love the poem at the top of your site- did you write it? It's beautiful.

  4. I have an Iris collection in a bed in front of my bedroom window. It is the only thing that is breaking through the ground right now. They get so tall they lean over to the side like tired dancers.

  5. Kim, I'm curious how your art event went. Did you try on the iris? Was the grape hyacinth more at work?

    Thank you for your comment! And congrats on the Lemonade Award, too! I look forward to checking out your blog!

    Thank you for awarding me the Lemonade Award! Perhaps we were birds in our past lives. There is something so transcendent about them. And yes, that poem is mine (it's an excerpt from a longer poem). I'm looking forward to getting to know you through your blog!

    Tired dancers -- I love this descriptions of irises. Interesting that irises are early bloomers in the spring. Maybe they help to remind us to be visible?


  6. Great symmetry and color choices.

  7. C, love the artwork and what you discovered! it's all wonderfully miraculous in a way don't you think?