His arms full of bundles of freshly picked tulips, the tulip gatherer walks solo back to the edge of the field to place the bundles neatly in boxes. He then returns to the group to begin the process over again.
Again, I ask for permission to take a photograph.
This time, I gesture with my camera, as I smile. The fact that we speak different languages is not a barrier for me. We are in communication. I receive a silent nod of the head.
When I am researching my blogs for stories about my paintings, often I discover things I had no idea about. For example, that word "anthology" derives from ancient Greek, anthologos, (antho + logos, adj. derivative of légein to pick up, collect) literally means "flower-gathering."
So, how does flower gathering have anything to do with literature and anthologies?
Well, an anthology is a collection of literary works chosen by the compiler. It may be a collection of poems, short stories, plays, songs, or excerpts. In genre fiction anthology is used to categorize collections of shorter works such as short stories and short novels, usually collected into a single volume for publication.
Thus, an anthology preserves the best of a kind, the "flowers" of the art.
The word "anthology" entered the English language in the 17th century, from the Greek word, ἀνθολογία (anthologia "a collection of flowers"), a reference to one of the earliest known anthologies, the Garland (Στέφανος), the introduction to which compares each of its anthologized poets to a flower. That Garland by Meléagros of Gadara formed the kernel for what has become known as the Greek Anthology.
The Greek Anthology is a collection of poems, mostly epigrams, that span the classical and Byzantine periods of Greek literature. Most of the material of the Greek Anthology comes from two manuscripts, the Palatine Anthology of the 10th century and the Anthology of Planudes (or Planudean Anthology) of the 14th century.
My statewide landscape painting project, "Washington Americana", now underway is an anthology in the making. When this project is completed, the collection of large scale paintings paired with a sprinkling of daily paintings and short essays will help to tell the story of Washington State through art.
And tulips, children love to stretch
Their fingers down, to feel in each
Its beauty’s secret nearer.
E. B. Browning—A Flower in a Letter.
Mary Lamery is a lifelong resident and native of the Pacific Northwest. Lamery paints regional landscape in a manner that leans towards 19th century French Impressionism. Through her project, "Washington Americana," she will create original landscape paintings from her journeys through Washington for the creation of an art book of painted landscape of Washington State.
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