“I’ve been here 9 weeks. I can feel my life in a way — if that makes sense?”
When I spoke with Hannah, it was a few days before she and her boyfriend, John Michael (Megan’s brother), were about to drive cross country from Georgia to Colorado where they’d celebrate her thirtieth birthday with her family. We talked about her interest in flowers and plants and what it’s been like to have more time to create during her stay at the farm.
“There’s so much natural flora and objects at the farm to make arrangements. I’ve been really enjoying that and it’s like making videos of my days. With spring ramping up there are so many things blooming every week. It’s honestly been such a joy because I live in New York usually and getting flowers there is not a natural experience. It’s a consumer process. It’s nice to work with what’s blooming that day and using those as a vessel.”
Hannah lives in New York City, but home is in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado. She’s also spent some time in tropical Miami. After graduating from college in Colorado with a degree in Communication Design, Hannah moved to New York City to become a graphic designer. It was here that she met John Michael. When COVID-19 hit, Hannah was furloughed and decided to move down to our family compound in Sparta, Georgia when NYC was beginning to shut down as the coronavirus spread in the city. John Michael had already been at the farm for a few weeks and drove back to New York to come get her at the beginning of April. Hannah has loved being at the farm. Her enthusiasm is tangible as she talks about what a polar opposite experience it has been from being in the city.
“There is so much possibility, There is so much space. To be in the open air daily, to be surrounded by such a natural ecosystem. Your brain works in a different way. You’re kinda outta your element, but in an environment that does feel familiar...that is nurturing an old creative process that I felt in the Colorado mountains— being able to work with the resources right in front of you.”
-Hannah B., Colorado, @somethingnewyork
She went on to describe how In New York, she has to acquire all of these natural resources to make something happen. She can’t walk into a field with shears or walk down the middle of Carrs Station Road to the little church up the hill. This curiosity and observation of the local flora just outside and around the old farmhouse led her to create the arrangement that Megan chose as the sixth print in our Greenhouse Print series. This print is a timestamp of Hannah’s time at the farm during a global pandemic, but it’s also something more. It’s a visual reminder of the importance of letting go of goals and finding ourselves in the unfolding and rhythm of the day that you are in… not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today.
First a little about the arrangement: Hannah found the lichen growing on a nearby rock. She’d come across an old book on the shelves in the house and got lost reading about the symbiotic relationship between the algae and fungi that results in lichen. “It’s kinda a crazy thing that it exists!” She and John Michael had seen the thistles standing tall in the back pasture and had planned to cut them earlier on, but Bill (Megan’s father) had bush hogged the field before they were able to get to them. Thankfully, their incredible height (~ 7 feet!) allowed them to survive the bush hogging unscathed. The green vine was something she found in the front yard. Finally, Hannah found the vase and the frog stem holder that’s holding the entire arrangement together in the spring house that used to serve as a greenhouse for the farm’s previous owners.
This print has six custom colors. See if you can find them all in the print:
Bright purple thistles
With green stems,
Dark green leaves,
& light green lichen in a
Muted yellow clay vase
With dark terracotta accents
Once Megan finished printing, the paper was carefully trimmed down to the final 8” x 10” size. Making this Greenhouse print all the more special and sentimental, Megan was able to give Hannah her print on the day she left the farm for Boulder, Colorado. Being able to share this small corner of the world with Hannah and John Michael during the last nine weeks has been one of the silver linings of the pandemic. As the first edition of ‘The Hannah’ and its namesake drive cross country to Boulder and eventually to New York City, we remain as grateful as ever for the plants, flowers, and natural beauty right in front of us during this unprecedented year.
Hannah’s story, arrangement, and print encourage us to hold our goals and urge for productivity a little more loosely, and instead to lean into the things right in front of us that nurture creativity. Truly listen to those soft nudges that tell our heart the direction that it needs to go… it may just remind you of exactly who you are. Stay safe, friends.
-The Brown Parcel Press Team