Making a Perfectly Wonderful Thing Out of Nothing Much

May 24, 2012

Spanish lavender

“My aim is to take familiar things and make
Poetry of them, and do it in such a way
That it looks as if it was easy as could be
For anybody to do it (although he’d sweat
And strain and work his head off, all in vain).
Such is the power of judgment, of knowing what
It means to put elements together
In just the right way; such is the power of making
A perfectly wonderful thing out of nothing much.”
— Horace, translated by David Ferry

I love this quote, and I take its message as a personal challenge . . . to find the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of my day, to find the poetry in the commonplace, and to make wonderful things out of nothing much.

This week, for example, my eyes are drawn to the rabbit-ears topping Spanish lavender.  I am seeing this lavender in bloom now in borders, parking strips, and gardens.  Our lavender festivals in Washington and Oregon are not held until mid-July, and those fields feature other, later-blooming kinds of lavender, like Grosso lavender.

My watercolor sketches are my attempt to make something wonderful out of this common plant.

Watercolor sketch of lavender

Watercolor sketch of lavender arranged in a wreath

7 Responses to “Making a Perfectly Wonderful Thing Out of Nothing Much”

  1. Sigrun Says:

    Love the quote, the flowers and your beautiful watercolor sketches!

  2. Chris Says:

    I love the wreath sketch!! Lavender is one of my favorite scents…my bees love it too!


  3. I think that lavender wreath would sell on Etsy as a greeting card. Or in an art gallery??

  4. Sallyann Says:

    I love the second watercolour … it looks like they’re dancing. 🙂

  5. Xavi Says:

    HI Rosemary, I love those watercolour!! I would like to ask you if it’s ok for you if we use this image for an ilustration in a NON PROFIT fest about herbs and traditions in Girona Spain. Thanks you very much, nice work! kisses


  6. […] Making a Perfectly Wonderful Thing Out of Nothing Much, May 24, 2012 […]


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