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Nature vs. Art: The Striped Tulip


I was inspired to create a series I called Nature vs. Art when I noticed that the color combinations in some of the necklaces I have designed over the years match or blend with combinations found in nature. The burgundy and white striped tulip displayed in the upper left reminded me of a miniature striped Art Deco sofa designed for a dollhouse.

Striped tulips evolved by natural selection. Feathering and striping developed some time in the 1600s as a response to a virus.

The necklace hanging from the balcony was designed before seeing either the drawing or the miniature sofa, but I found the three items blended well. In creating this artwork, I added among the necklace strands several small roses cannibalized from a Moschino purse. The work also includes a depiction of a portion of a Chinese scroll, a large rose from a Moschino purse, paper, ribbon, paint and miniature frames designed for a dollhouse.

Custom framed with museum glass in a sophisticated deep wooden frame in collaboration with Chevy Chase Art Gallery, Washington, DC.

Price: USD 2,600.

Frame color: Gold

Size (in inches): 13" x 22" x 4


Though many designs appear simple, each work in fact takes several months to create. The final version is rarely the one initially envisioned; the laws of gravity force numerous adjustments. Execution involves a multitude of skills, some of which are acquired specifically to achieve the desired artistic result. In fact, it took several years of experimenting before I even hit upon a technique for creating assemblages. 

The framing process is itself a component of the work, both conceptually and artistically. Though the frame is clean and modern in appearance, the framing process is not as simple as it seems. The determination whether to create a "room" (as with Born Free) or an intimate atmosphere (as with What Price Silence) is in fact part of the artistic process.  

Works are custom framed to provide sufficient depth to accomplish my artistic goals as well as to support the weight of the work (often 40-60 pounds). The 4-inch deep decorative wooden frame curves outward to bring the work closer to the viewer.  

As many designs are supported by the base as well as the backing, the framing process can be tricky. It took several months of experimentation to determine how to create a work that it was practical to frame. The glass protects the work from damaged caused by dust and dusting.

Assemblage silver frame model.jpg
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