February 12, 2019

Hearts and Flowers... and Birds and Hares

        Here are some sweet block prints for Valentine’s Day by British artist Celia Hart.  This first piece, featuring not only heart and flowers, but a love offerring, is the perfect Valentine.  I like the detail on the primrose at the bottom center, and the use of the striped background to accent the heart.  You can’t go wrong with this image of Valentine’s sentiment.   Hart is inspired by the Suffolk countryside where she lives and includes lots of natural details in her work.
        Still, where I live the only flowers outside of the florist in mid-February are a few snowdrops, so I particularly appreciate the bare-branched garlands of these next two pieces.  Yes, they still have a few flowers and butterflies, which we won’t be seeing here for a while yet, but they have much more of a vibe of the bare landscape.  There’s something particularly lovely about the birds and hares delighting in their partners while the world is still cold and not yet woken from its winter rest.  Add its title, “My Heart Leaps,” to the print of
the two hares regarding one another with delight, and it’s impossible not to catch the romance.
        A final piece, just to round out the collection, entitled “A Song in My Heart.”  There’s only the one robin here, but he’s singing a heart of flowers right out of the air.  This one is carved a little more smoothly, with a little more detail, and I like the composition with a blending of natural background - earth, twigs, grasses - and graphic layout - heart just floating on the page.
        So, if you, like the first few images here, have a beloved partner this Valentine’s Day, be sure to let them know how happy you are to be with them.  And if you don’t, then be like the robin in the final piece and keep spreading love all around you from the song in your heart.

[Pictures: The Birds’ Wedding Day, linocut by Celia Hart, 2012?;
Love Song, woodcut by Hart, 2013;
My Heart Leaps, woodcut by Hart, 2013;
A Song in My Heart, linocut by Hart, 2014 (Images from CeliaHart.co.uk).]

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