Finding Distressed Textures at an Agriculture Museum

When wallpaper was the stuff people pasted and hung on walls, rather than the screen saver of a mobile phone or computer, I worked for a wallpaper company. We used the term ‘distressed textures’ to classify designs that did the role of a plain paper, but were more broken up and patchy. Some mimicked flaking plaster, rusted metal or grungy wood, others were abstract.

Designers took inspiration from all walks of life, and mood boards of patterned objects decorated the studio: inspiration for themed collections with titles such as Cairo and Great Plains.

I was reminded of those mood boards last month at the Ag Museum in Jackson, MS, where visual treats were everywhere, hidden in plain sight. Inspiration for Agricola, I imagined: a contemporary homage to farm implements.  Continue reading “Finding Distressed Textures at an Agriculture Museum”

The Last Days of Ebullient Ralph Sowell’s Daffodil Collection

Small flowered daffodils

My sweetheart was sorry to hear that his affable gardening friend Ralph Sowell of Jackson, Mississippi, had died and, because his printing company’s property was to be repurposed, his raised beds brimming with many dozens of award-winning daffodils and hybrid daylilies had to go.

It turned out that the garden needed to be emptied more quickly than expected, and unfortunately the daffodils were at the peak of bloom or just about to flower. Bulbs physically empty out when they produce flowers and need a few weeks of sunlight energy hitting the growing leaves to re-fatten for next season. The size and diversity of Ralph’s collection added an extra challenge. Continue reading “The Last Days of Ebullient Ralph Sowell’s Daffodil Collection”

Garden Creatures, Mississippi Style

Artwork of possum and flowers in Jackson MS

2020 was a year we’ll remember for the worst reasons, but there were a few highlights. I learned, for example, what this was.

The artwork was covering a window or gap in an alley in Jackson, MS. I immediately took a shine to it because of the fierce creature’s eyes, the flowers and the (almost) heart shaped nose. But I had no idea what it was – it could have been imaginary for all I knew. We don’t have opossums in England. The nearest I could think of was an alternative badger with a tail and a decidedly uppity expression. Continue reading “Garden Creatures, Mississippi Style”