These irises are from Mrs. Thomas's iris farm in Herndon, VA. For years Margaret Thomas had tended her 5.4-acre iris garden with the help of volunteers. Her glorious garden, open to the public, used to be filled with irises, peonies, and poppies. It was truly a sight to behold during the season--a mecca to the iris lovers and plein air painters.
Alas, she passed away last year at the age of 89. It was her hope that the space could be preserved as a park for the enjoyment of all, but it probably won't happen. As it is located in the midst of a highly valuable real estate market, as soon as the economy bounces back, the farm will be sold to the highest bidder and developed for multi-million-dollar McMansions.
I painted "Glory of Iris" from a print photo taken about 10 years ago on Mother's Day. All florals celebrate the transient beauty of flowers. This particular painting honors a woman who loved flowers as if they were her children.