"Los Tulipanes"

"Los Tulipanes"
48 X 48, oil on panel

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Welcome to Holland

I remember coming across this story years ago, I was googling Holland on the internet, dreaming of visiting someday.  I saw the title "Welcome to Holland" and it looked the the perfect place for me to daydream.  I clicked on it, and quickly found that it was not what I had anticipated, but rather a heart warming analogy.  I was touched, but moved on searching for photos of tulips and windmills and museums.  

This past year, I have thought of that story I read long ago, and I finally searched it out again.  It has new meaning.  It makes me love tulips even more than I did before.  I have always dreamed of going to Italy too, but maybe there's a reason I love tulips so much... and Van Gogh.

Welcome To Holland
copyright 1987, by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.  After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and  says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy!  I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.  The important  thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease.  It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.  It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less   flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you  begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful  time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go.   That's  what I had planned."  And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream  is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very  special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's getting to be that time again


Thanksgiving Point started their tulip festival in 2005, and I was elated. 

Later that year, they heard that I love tulips, and they invited my to come and paint.  I have spent as much of my time as I could every spring in their gardens painting.  I have lent them my art, and they have lent me their tulips.  Each year since then, we have made a poster featuring some of my art.  I have also had many media opportunities, news paper, live television, and even a mini documentary(you can see links to some of these on the sidebar).  It has been so much fun.  I have been pregnant or had a baby strapped to me most of the time these past few years, and I cherish the memories of being in the gardens with my daughters and with the tulips.  I love getting to visit with everyone who comes to the festival.  I am excited that it is almost that time again.

Each year has been a little different- it is hard to predict when the tulips will start blooming ahead of time, because there are so many factors that go into that.  I painted this little watercolor above one year when the tulips bloomed a little later than the scheduled festival dates... and these were some of the most opened ones at that point.  However, this year, I do mot think that will be the case- I think the gardens will be filled with tulips in bloom for this year's festival, 

April 13 - 28, 2012
(closed Sundays)
10 am - 8 pm

and there are so many different tulips, the gardens change so much- there are early, middle and late tulips, so there are new tulips coming up all through the spring.  The gardeners do such a wonderful job planting the flower beds so that as some tulips fade, new blooms replace them.  Thousands of people will gather to see them because tulips make people happy.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

one pink tulip

This is a little watercolor I did a couple of years ago at the Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival.
I am getting so excited that it is getting to be that time of year again.  Our tulips are already poking through the ground, and these warm days we are getting will make them come even faster.  I have a "Tulip" board on pinterest and I have been having so much fun adding tulips to my collection.
I am so excited for spring!