Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hellebore Heaven

First of all, I want to apologize to everyone that receives my blog posts by email. Last week's post was sent out twice and and comments made before Friday simply disappeared. Sorry!

My new favorite flower to photograph is the "Hellebore". I included one image in a blog post a couple of weeks ago, and a second one is now featured on my website....and I have added two more to the collection that are included in this post.

I did a little research on this plant and found a few interesting facts.

Wikipedia definition: "Commonly known as hellebores, members of the genus Helleborus comprise approximately 20 species of herbaceous perennial flowering plants in the family Ranunculaceae, within which it gave its name to the tribe of Helleboreae. Many species are poisonous."

The fact that they are toxic comes out in many of the myths and legends surrounding it. The ancient Greeks associated Hellebore with demons or possession and they used the flower to make poisonous arrow tips.

I also found this statement; "Strangely, it is said to provide protection and a vase of hellebore brought into a room will drive away an unpleasant atmosphere and replace it with tranquility." I think I am going with this one because that is what I felt the minute they were brought into my studio.

I was introduced to this perennial by someone who had them growing in her yard. She said the colors and shapes reminded her of my work. I was deeply touched by this and after she brought me some cuttings, spent a few hours joyfully arranging and photographing these flowers -  I was in "Hellebore Heaven".

I began the session shooting a bouquet in a vase.

©2011 Dianne Poinski     

I sensed fairly quickly that a stronger composition would be a simple image of a single bloom.

"Hellebore I"

©2011 Dianne Poinski  "Hellebore I"
Hand Colored with PanPastels®

©2011 Dianne Poinski  "Hellebore II"
Hand Colored with PanPastels®

©2011 Dianne Poinski  "Hellebore III"
 Hand Colored with PanPastels®

I had so much fun that I planted some in my yard.

The best part of this story is not the flowers themselves or the fact they were used to make weapons.  What moved me is that someone I had just met on "Second Saturday" thought I would like these flowers and took the time to deliver them personally to my studio! This is just one more reason why I love what I do. The relationships I have developed over the years sustain me in so many ways and I am very grateful to all of you! Thanks again Patricia!!


  1. Lovely post, Dianne and lovely images. It is wonderful the connections we make and new discoveries. :-)

  2. Thanks Leslie! And thanks to the internet for making it possible to make connections with people in other countries (like you)!

  3. Heavens! I've never heard of this complicated and delightful flower. Certainly gives peonies a run for their money! The round white vase is so perfect for these flowers, Dianne.
    I love your work and will come by your new studio soon-you are so close to my house!

  4. Your work is absolutely stunning, Dianne -- thanks for such a wonderful story!!

  5. Thank you everyone!
    Nancy - would love to have you come visit soon!

  6. Dianne--it's fun to read the story behind your photographs of hellebore --definitely a complex plant! I think you've done it justice by moving from the complexity of the vase shot to the the single flower. A single stem of hellebore is all that is needed to convey the power and exquisite beauty of this flower.

  7. Love the vase shot! Lovely work as usual.

  8. So very lovely...each image and the story and yes...the community that gathers around you bearing such inspired gifts.