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Edition of 1613 of which 125 copies are signed 1-125, 26 copies are signed A-Z as artist's proofs. No progressives.

March 30, 2009

16-1/4" x 24"

12 colors

Paper: Starwhite Vicksburg Sirius 110# Cover

Model: Margarita Ilinishna Zaydman

Influence: Alphonse Maria Mucha (Czech, 1860 - 1939)

Client: Paul Doty, Berkeley Horticultural Nursery,
1310 McGee Avenue,
Berkeley California 94703
Telephone: (510) 526-4704

1-125: Saint Hieronymus
PressA-Z: Artist's own use

A weed is a plant that you don't want. Weeds are hardy because they are constantly being uprooted, poisoned, flattened and neglected. Little garden hoodlums, they're tough and resilient. The harder you push them, the harder they push back. You coddle the roses, and yank out the dandelions. Left to themselves, the roses would die, and your garden would be all dandelions and crabgrass. Every flower was once a weed, and some we cultivated because we wanted them, and some we counter-cultivated because we didn't want them, but we made them all what they are today.

Oxalis Stricta, the common Sourgrass, harbinger of spring and unplanted visitor to Berkeley gardens, is invasive and almost impossible to eradicate. Crowding out and killing other garden guests, Sourgrass is considered more a weed than a flower. Pretty but obnoxious, it soon wears out its welcome.

Impatiens Balfourii, the lovely Touch-Me-Not, has a gentler approach. It has figured out how to grow like a weed, but find favor like a flower: it is pretty, entertaining, and shallow-rooted. Although it spreads wildly, growing happily wherever the slightest bit of soil offers a purchase, it is easy to pull out. It comes in early and stays late, providing greenery in both shade and sun. In the Fall, the pods burst at the slightest contact, providing surprised pleasure for the gardener, and scattering seeds far and wide. It tries everything, and when rejected, cheerfully returns, unabashed, to try again next year.

We are all of us somewhere between weed and flower, wanted and unwanted, cultivated and disdained, according to the garden we find ourselves in. We did not make ourselves, any more than did a rose or a dandelion. But, if you only go where you're wanted, you might not get what you want.