Tuesday, 6 February 2018
This t-shirt possibly qualifies as the first object I bought with dandelions on.
I bought it around 2005 ish from a lovely little shop here in Preston. The shop is no longer around, which is a shame. And the company who made the t-shirt 2Blame Clothing, also seems not to exist anymore. As i didn't have the Archive set up at that time, i didn't note the name of the shop or the date i bought it.
I wore it lots, but not for a long time now, but it's safe in the Dandelion Archive.
Tuesday, 19 December 2017
I spent a day last week in the archive at the Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library here in Preston.
I was looking for dandelions in their collection of books and prints. The trip was quite successful and I found images and information in a number of old botanical books, plus on a couple of old prints too.
Here is an image of a dandelion plate in a copy of Curious Herbal by Elizabeth Blackwell published 1737-39. The full title of the book is "A Curious Herbal containing five hundred cuts of the most useful plants, which are now used in the practice of physick, to which is added a short description of ye plants and their common uses in physick"
Thursday, 5 October 2017
More dandelion stamps!
It seems most countries have used a dandelion for their postage stamp designs and I found this one from Moldova issued in 2016. I got a first day cover and it's part of a set showing wildflowers: chicory, yarrow, annual everlasting (i had to look that up - we don't get it here naturally in UK), scented mayweed, balkan clary (again i had to look that up as we don't have it here) and of course a dandelion.
This first day cover is now in the Dandelion Archive.
Friday, 1 September 2017
I found this yesterday on twitter - it's an accidental find as i wasn't especially looking. It is the allergy forecast for Southern Colorado with the headline "Now, weeds are at a high level! :/ "
Trees - None
Grasses - High
Weeds - Very High
Mold - Low
The background image is of dandelion seed heads, which is really unfair as they don't cause allergies. It's a common image to use, but as the seed head doesn't have any pollen you can't be allergic to it. Here is an interesting blog post explaining it :
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
I found another postage stamp with a dandelion motif on the other day. It's from a German postal company Pin Mail and shows a dandelion seed head, stamp value 52 cents.
The Dandelion Archive has a few dandelion stamps from different countries: Iceland, Estonia, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Austria and Polish. Please see posts from 2015 on the blog if you want more details.
Tuesday, 11 July 2017
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
I've not updated the blog for a few weeks - even though i've got lots that can be added, but i've been so busy i've neglected it a while.
I was watching a gardening programme on the tv the other week and I spotted this fabulous dandelion Taraxacum pseudoroseum with pinkish and yellow flowers. I'm going to order some seeds to grow them in my back yard, although I might be a bit late for this season.
The image is of the tv screen - hence the odd lines across it.
Friday, 21 April 2017
I was in San Francisco the other day exploring the streets, taking in the sights and generally having a great time. While on the 9 mile wander I saw this mural on a wall in the city with a girl blowing on dandelion clocks. It's by artists Lady Mags and Amanda Lynn and according to their blog it took only 5 days to paint. The full artwork is much bigger - this image only shows one end of the piece. It's on 8th Street between Mission and Market streets.
Amanda Lynn blog
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
I am currently in California for 2 months on an art residency at Montalvo Arts Centre and i've been looking at changes in climate and the effects of extreme weather. While here i've had the opportunity to travel to see how different ecologies are changing or being managed etc. One of my trips took me to Death Valley National Park - the most incredible landscape, harsh, stark and very beautiful. While there I was thrilled to see desert dandelion Malacothrix glabrata. Native to the western United States it's in the Asteraceae family and although quite different to the dandelions this blog is dedicated to, i'm happy to include it.
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
A couple of months ago i was contacted by Dr Lena Struwe, an associate professor and the director of the Chrysler Herbarium at Rutgers University in the USA. She had found my blog while researching weeds and the symbolism of dandelions in contemporary popular culture. We have emailed a couple of times and she's written details about her research looking at the evolutionary biology of weeds - it's fascinating. Lena also sent a few items for the Dandelion Archive: the image here shows an advert from a magazine.
The poor dandelion! Being used as a metaphor for cancer. The unwanted weed in an otherwise perfect lawn. "The challenge is to identify and attack the genetic flaws of each cancer". I suppose as a marketing idea it's saying what the company intended - but it isn't helping the negative reputation the dandelion continues to have.
Sunday, 12 March 2017
I've been so busy this last 6 weeks i haven't had time to put anything new on the blog.
Anyway, here is another dandelion I found in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (see post below) earlier this year.
Home from Sea is by Arthur Hughes and is oil on panel. The landscape was begun in 1856 in Chingford churchyard and the painting was first exhibited in 1857 as The Mother's Grave. Hughes altered the painting in 1862 by adding the sister figure. There are a few small dandelions, both in flower and seed, at the bottom of the painting in the grass. The label for the painting says: 'The details reinforce the pathos of the subject, so that the ephemeral nature of the spider's webs, dew drops, dog roses and dandelion seeds emphasise the theme of transience.'
Tuesday, 24 January 2017
I was in Oxford last week and had some time to visit the Ashmolean Museum: a wonderful place with fantastic collections and it's free to enter.
I saw a few dandelions in the collection and got some photos for the blog. This painting Gentle Spring was painted by the English Pre-Raphaelite Frederick Sandys.
Painted in oils, it was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1865. The figure represents Proserpina on her annual return to earth from the land of the dead in springtime. Lots of flowers are depicted in the painting: snowdrops, crocuses, anemones, violets, poppies and dandelions. The dandelions are in seed and are on the lower left of the painting.
Friday, 23 December 2016
I have a Canadian friend living in Toronto and she sent me this beautiful card the other day - she knows I collect dandelion objects for the archive and she has contributed information and objects in the past too.
This beautiful card 'Dandelion Taraxacum officinale' is from an original watercolour by artist Tereska Shepherd (website www.artbytereska.co.uk). The card has now been added to the Dandelion Archive.
Tuesday, 27 September 2016
I am still here in California on a residency. We're in a heatwave at the moment - it's far too hot!
I was in the hardware store the other day and noticed these weedkillers. There was a whole shelf full and most of them had dandelion images on the label as an example of which weeds the chemicals can kill.
I have also had two meals here containing dandelion leaves in salads. It seems a bit bonkers there's a whole industry dedicated to killing dandelions when you could just harvest and eat them.
Friday, 16 September 2016
I'm currently on a one month residency at Montalvo Arts Centre in California. It's a wonderful place nestled in woods near Saratoga, about an hour from San Francisco.
California is in a drought at the moment and everything is dry and dusty, however i have found a few dandelions on and near the lawn in front of the Villa at Montalvo, so they are surviving here.
A few of us from the residency were invited to go to NASA in Silicone Valley the other day - how exciting!! And, under a tree beside the road on the NASA site were a number of dandelions - so i collected a few leaves for the archive (of course i did). A great moment from a great trip.
Sunday, 4 September 2016
Look what I was given! (See post below)
I went to request the display showing dandelions from the M&S store in Preston - and they let me have it for the Dandelion Archive - brill. I went to collect it the other day - it's massive and is made up of 4 long panels. There's dandelions on 3 of the panels plus they gave me the 3D dandelion leaf too. These are the biggest objects in the archive
Wednesday, 3 August 2016
I was walking down the high street in Preston the other day and I spotted this window display at the Marks & Spencer store. Showing their range of new uniforms for school children, they have also used large tins of paint and a few drawn plants in the background - a couple in b&w, a couple in colour and i was delighted to see they are dandelions! There is also a giant dandelion leaf. They are beautifully drawn and i'm going to try and find the artists name if i can. I was really happy I had my camera on me too so I could get a few shots.
Thursday, 21 July 2016
It was graduation week at the University of Central Lancashire earlier this month and I noticed the university used the design of dandelions on their printed material and online. I like graduation week: Preston is full of students in their gowns and caps and proud families all dressed in their best outfits and everyone seems really happy.
I got this image from their twitter feed and it uses the dandelion in seed presumably to represent wishes coming true.
Monday, 18 July 2016
I was invited to conduct an inventory of species at Hospitalfield, an art organisation based in Arbroath in Scotland a couple of weeks ago - it's an amazing place set within gardens, woodland and arable fields and in view of the sea. Go to the Hospitalfield website to read about its history and how it was set up by Elizabeth and Patrick Allan-Fraser.
While there I was able to spend time in the library and found this copy of 'Class Book of Botany, being an introduction to the study of the Vegetable Kingdom' by J H Balfour. Boasting 'upwards of 1800 illustrations' the one that I was most interested in is this one of a dandelion. Of the illustration is says "Runcinate leaves, a, and radical peduncles or multifloral scapes, b, c, of Dandelion (Leontodon Taraxacum)".
Patrick Allan-Fraser has written his name in the front of the book and dated it June 1872.
Wednesday, 15 June 2016
Over the winter I was artist in residence for Peak in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales and spent 6 weeks there working on creating a colour chart to represent the landscape.
The colour chart considers the ecology, geology, economics, industry, culture and history of the Park. You can find more information about the commission on my website.
One of the earliest flowers to come up while I was there in January was a dandelion so I was happy to include it in the final 96 colours. Dant y Llew is the colour name (Welsh for Dandelion) and is number 38 in the chart.
Monday, 9 May 2016
I was in Amsterdam last week and visited the Rijksmuseum while i was there. It's one of the most wonderful museums and we spent over 5 hours enjoying the artworks in the galleries. As usual i'm always on the look out for dandelions within art collections and was really thrilled to find one in a painting by Jacobus van Looij. The painting, entitled Blooming Clover, is oil on canvas and was painted in around 1897. There is a beautiful dandelion in seed in the top right of the painting.
Tuesday, 29 March 2016
I have a number of food and drink packages in the Dandelion Archive each featuring dandelions in some way. Here is a bottle of Dandelion and Burdock from Marks and Spencer with dandelions on the label. Not liking the taste of Dandelion and Burdock it wasn't me who emptied the bottle, but a friend who kindly drank it so i could have it for the archive.
Wednesday, 10 February 2016
I was in Edinburgh last month for a meeting about another project i'm working on and while there I visited the National Galleries of Scotland. I spied a dandelion in this painting by Sir Joseph Noel Paton The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania, painted in 1850. The dandelion, in seed, is below and to the left of Titania's foot. According to the label:
"In 1857, when the picture was displayed in the partially completed National Gallery of Scotland, an enraptured Lewis Carroll counted no fewer than one hundred and sixty-five fairies in Paton's microscopically detailed Shakespearian microcosm."
Tuesday, 26 January 2016
I'm currently on a residency in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales and I have been exploring the local landscape since I got here last week. It's been a very mild, wet winter here in UK. I have seen a few dandelions ready to flower up in Lancashire, where I live, but I saw this one here in Wales on Sunday 24th January - it seems so early.
Thursday, 7 January 2016
I have a number of food products in the Dandelion Archive - various teas, dandelion and burdock drink etc... and someone donated this for the collection.
It was sent from Germany and is '100% Bio-Lowenzahn' (organic dandelion) and it suggests adding it to green smoothies. On one hand i'm intrigued to see and taste it, but on the other hand I want to keep the packet perfect. I have until June 2016 to decide when it runs out of date.
Tuesday, 22 December 2015
Tuesday, 1 December 2015
At the beginning of this year I acquired this jug / gravy boat with dandelions on it - however I don't know the maker or pottery who made it. 'Summer Bower L.419' is painted on the bottom and there is a name stamp in the base, but it's so obscured by the glaze i can't read it. If anyone knows the maker please do get in touch via the comments.
It has a dandelion flower with leaves and seed head on one side of the jug and a smaller pattern of a dandelion in bud with leaf on the other side. It's now held in the Dandelion Archive and it's one of my favourite objects.
Wednesday, 4 November 2015
Ages ago I saw that Will's Cigarettes had done a series of wild flower cigarette cards with one being a dandelion and i've been on the look out ever since to try and find either a single card or a complete album. I was in the wonderful Preston Flea Market the other week and on a stall selling old postcards, books and magazines i found a copy of a complete album!
An Album of Wild Flowers, Second Series was issued in 1937 by WD & HO Wills (branch of the Imperial Tobacco Company) priced at one penny. The dandelion is number 25 out of the 50 cards in the set.
The description is this: Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), Thistle family. Were it not so common and a weed so difficult to eradicate, this would be considered a beautiful flower. Although it can be found in bloom during a great part of the year its main flowering time is in spring, when it often turns fields and waysides into a blaze of gold. The origin of the name Dandelion is somewhat uncertain, for although it means "Lion's tooth", like the other botanical names which have been used for it - Leontodon dens-leonis - it is not agreed whether it is the lobes of the leaf or in the tips of the florets that the resemblance occurs.
Thursday, 22 October 2015
The Dandelion Archive holds many objects and people often donate things to be included in the collection.
Here is a scarf donated to the collection - it has different plants in the pattern, one being a full dandelion flower with leaves and seed heads too. It's labeled Officinale Taraxacum which is latin for dandelion, however the words are the wrong way around (it should be Taraxacum officinale).
Thursday, 8 October 2015
I've just got back from 10 days in Italy visiting Bologna, Florence and a trip to the hills near Bibbiena too.
While in Florence I visited the Uffizi Gallery - an amazing evening looking at some incredible works of art. While in the gallery I spotted a couple of dandelions in Filipino Lippi's paintings: the one here is 'The Penitent St. Jerome' and is tempera on wood, dated c1493 - 5.
I have very elegantly marked where the dandelion is on the painting. It's a dandelion in seed, quite delicate and fragile with the dark of the rock behind giving it contrast.
Thursday, 20 August 2015
Ages ago one of my prints was selected for the 100 Flowers Collection for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's new South Glasgow University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Sick Children. Over 70 artists contributed to the program and i'm thrilled one of my screen prints of dandelions was chosen.
There's a really nice film about the art works in the hospital:
I'm happy to see there's a few other representations of the dandelion in the collection too. Fab!
Monday, 3 August 2015
Newball and Mason were manufacturing chemists based in Nottingham in 1800's. It was Thomas Mason who invented the 'Extract of Herbs' a concentrated essence that could be made up into a non-alcoholic Botanic Beer. I've seen a couple of their 'Extract of Herbs' bottle labels and each has an illustration with a dandelion on it. The one here also features bees:
"The little busy bee improves the shining hour and prefers Mason's Extract of Herbs before the laborious old fashioned method of extracting it itself"
Tuesday, 7 July 2015
Monday, 6 July 2015
Friday, 5 June 2015
Representing Germany with stamps in my Dandelion Archive is this stamp.*
It was released in 1977 and has the German for dandelion on the stamp: Lowenzahn
I'm struggling to find the artist who did the illustrations, however I did read in a stamp catalogue that the print run was 12,217,000 - if that's of any interest.
*I also have a first day over of this set this is from, with a lovely embossed dandelion on the envelope - please see March 2013 post on this blog.
Thursday, 4 June 2015
I have an Irish dandelion postage stamp in the Dandelion Archive too - it's a drawing of the plant (no artist is named on the stamp, but they are by Irish artist Susan Sex) and it has the Gaelic name for dandelion: Caisearbhan. It was released in 2004 from a series depicting the 'Wild Flowers of Ireland'.