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Brenda Weller takes us through a brief history of flower arranging in Jamaica, basic elements and principles of design to modern contemporary and abstract designs. Her objective is to motivate both young and old to create and participate in this art form. Working with pressed flower pictures develops patience; working with drift wood is a challenge - each piece being different; and entering flower shows is an achievement. This book can be used for teaching as well as for creating designs for homes, churches and flower shows. Its scope is wide-ranging, as it goes from the use of simple household containers with garden flowers to the use of exotic tropical blooms to create dramatic compositions.
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Brenda Weller is truly a phenomenal woman and a testament to all the joy and deep sense of satisfaction that result from following one s passion. The first nine years of married life was dedicated to the raising and nurturing of her children and it was at this time she developed her love for flowers. Kingston held special significance for her as it has remained her home up until the present time, and was the place of her artistic debut. With an already established love of flowers and her artistic flair she embarked on courses in floral design with Lyn Stratmann and minor exploits with the Ohara school of Ikiba. Here her love of floral design flourished and she stood apart as a floral artist receiving praise from her teacher Lyn Stratmann who described her as a "truly creative artist". Mrs. Weller went on to become a founding member and Past President of the St. Andrew Floral Arrangement Club, and a Past President of the Jamaica Panel of Judges of Floral Art and Horticulture. She is also a member of the Jamaica Horticultural Society. Brenda continued her thirst for knowledge and became an accredited judge working with the national Council of Floral Art Judges. She spent a further 10 years of study to become a Master Judge, receiving the title of accredited Master Judge U.S.A. which afforded her the opportunity to judge flower shows internationally - of which there were many. In this capacity she visited countries like Cayman, Nassau, Canada and Barbados. She was invited to represent Jamaica at Canada's Annual Tulip Festival where she was the toast of Ottawa. At the age of 80 Mrs. Weller's supreme talents were seen and admired by many as she participated in numerous demonstrations in Hull, Ottawa and Quebec. She also entered floral competitions abroad and on one occasion copped the prize for first place. During her many years of involvement Mrs. Weller has inspired many persons locally as she taught, lectured and demonstrated the art of floral design. Her demonstrations have taken her to all fourteen parishes in Jamaica. She published three books previously: Fascinating Ways with Sage, Fascinating Ways with Dried Plant Material and Floral Notes.
Mrs. Weller is an accomplished armature painter and ceramist whose vases have been featured in many of the designs presented in her most recent work, Let's Create with Flowers. This last publication has been Mrs. Weller's dream for over thirty years. This accomplishment has given her great satisfaction and joy as she has witnessed the fruition of her dream at the age of 87.
Let's Create With Flowers is an elegant coffee-table book with descriptions and colour photographs of designs covering most of the two major divisions of the 20th century Floral Artistry. The language is clear, concise and witty. The book begins with introductory chapters on the 'History of Flower Arranging in Jamaica'; 'Equipment: Tools and Mechanics' and the conditioning of plant material with relevant illustrations and photographs. The elements and principles of design are then discussed with illustrations in two separate chapters. Then there is a noteworthy chapter on the 'Preservation of Dried Plant Material and Weathered Wood' . Pressed flower pictures and collages are shown in this chapter. Each chapter of the book is prefaced by a page showing an enlarged floral motive or tapestry with relevant quotations from well-known artists. Photographs of miniature, petite and small designs are shown in chapter 6. The principle scale is aptly demonstrated here as plant material is selected to relate in size and proportion to the size of the containers and overall size of the design. Accessories are also in scale. Remarkable skill is needed for these designs and those in the book are good examples of this art. In Jamaica we have a preponderance of tropical flowers and foliage. Exhibitors in major world flower shows employ these tropicals for their contemporary creative designs. Brenda Weller, the floral artist, has presented these bold forms in her dried and fresh creations. See 'Elegance' p.75, 'Tomorrow's World' p. 79 and 'Doorstopper' and 'Fish Monger' p. 89. Chapter 9 deals exclusively with 'Dried Arrangements' and other exquisite examples are given on pages 97, 99, 120, 121. In the 'Autumn Collection' p. 73 her skill comes to the fore as there is a range of autumn shades and textures in leaves and stems creating a tapestry of forms with rhythmic lines. In this picture the container does seem out of scale with the design but this is just a small imperfection. The author introduces the theme of 'Creative Designs' in Chapter 7. Space is the dominant design element and contrast is achieved by line, colour, form and texture. Human emotions react strongly to the element COLOUR and so it is a very important element. The pages of the book come in a variety of hues, greens, blues, pinks, mauve, purple, brown, biscuit, lemon, cream, etc. and these make excellent contrasting backgrounds for the photographs and impact wonderfully on our artistic sensibilities. The reader is taken through line designs where lines, curves, linear or curvilinear define spaces. The viewer's eye moves with the lines creating rhythm and interest. One should remember that flower arranging is essentially a three dimensional art form and so there are some visual limitations in using photography which is two dimensional. For example on p.54 where a framed spatial design is shown, the design hanging within the frame must seem to float in the space, but here in the photograph it appears flat against the background which in reality is not so. On p. 53 there is an eye-catching assemblage design where non-art objects are incorporated into the design. A real breath-stopper is 'Tomorrow's World' on p. 79 where Poinciana pods have been split open and sprayed in different hues, placed horizontally across open frames and topped by a dried foliage designs. This is a construction including two framed abstract designs. Instructions on geometric forms come at the end of the book pages 123-127. More traditional designs may be seen on pages 107, 113. Contemporary styles are shown in chapter 12. --Cicely Tobisch
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Book Description Arawak publications, 2006. Perfect Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX9768189673