The meaning of flowers and plants

Since ancient times flowers are associated with that life and both beauties are short-lived. The flowers of fruit trees as preliminary stage for the growth of fruit and still lifes with flower as Vanitas themes shows the transformations of life. Admiring, germinating flowers is about trying to defy time and leaving an impression. I have described a number of flower types that regularly appear in my work as an important source of inspiration.

Passiflora or Passion flower

This flower fascinates me the most because of its name and in my view has an extraterrestrial shape and odd numbers namely in the 3 pistils, 5 petals and 10 leaves in the underlying foliage. 3 / 5 /10. In numerology, these numbers have a special meaning. The 3 for the trinity, artistic energy and pyramid shape, the 5 for courage and personal freedom and the 10 for the end of a cycle and completion. There are 500 known species and this flower has its origin in South America and was discovered in the 16th century. 
The plant is also a medicinal plant for the heart to calm it down. In my work, this calming effect of this flower is far from visible and rather reversed.

Spanish missionaries saw in the passion flower the crucifixion story of Jesus Christ. I experienced this flower as a spiritual one in addition to the odd numbers, in the color scheme: the deep black, light yellow, purple tones and deep red. The interpretation of the flower depends on the content of my work some in more realistic form or more in abstraction.

The flowing floating branches and wisps of seaweed in the lagoon, some with their roots attached to the side of the shore or others floating with the current of the water, were one of my source for inspiration to ‘The waters of Venice’. The curling, spiraling, circulating and tossing motions of the seaweed reminded me of the threat of rising sea levels around the city.

Datura or Trumpet Flower 

In my new series of this year 'The Singing Bells' I was inspired by the Datura plant, also called Trumpet plant or Thorn apple. I can remember when I was in art school reading books by Carlos Castaneda, the lessons of Don Juan, which described the Datura and the spiritual journey of this American writer where the plant is used as a drug in Mexico and induces hallucinations and can be fatal if misused due to toxicity. But under the wise lessons of the Mexican wizard Don Juan Matus. It fascinated me, but also that so much beauty can be so dangerous and this stayed in my subconscious for years. 

Through my many walks in parks, I found the Datura at an Orangerie. And even found a beautiful Trumpet plant at the front of a house in Amsterdam. Several photos of this plant I used later as a source of inspiration for new series. Using the spiritual meaning and the trumpet-like overwhelming beautiful shape that evokes a positive charge in me.


Over the years I have grown hollyhocks by first germinating them for the garden. Each hollyhock has about 40 seeds for each finished flower bud as stock for new growth. Just calculate how many seeds 1 plant can produce and that nature is very generous in spreading new life.
In addition to the described flower species, I have a preference for weeds that grows on the roadside or in meadows.

Besides the Rose the Tulip having the same symbol of Love but also the vanity of earthly things. Turkish traders brought from Persia the Tulip in the 16th century to Europe. By the start of the 17e century in Holland the Tulip enjoyed great popularity and some where rare and therefore very expensive. The success of the flowers was so great having speculations on the colors of the new bulbs that it became winning and losing of large sums of money in the proces. An all out mania until 1637 when the market collapsed. Even the Estates General wasn’t able to stem the financial panic. Because of the ‘costly’ beauty of the Tulip it appears in many Vanitas paintings.
In addition to the described flower species, I have a preference for 'wild species' that grow on the roadside or in meadows where I took a lot of pictures of.
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Inspired by the Tulip 
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inspired by the passion flower

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