Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Violet Hare

Recently when we were walking one Sunday, I spotted the most beautiful clump of wild purple violets growing in the grass on a hillside.

After I took this picture of my son and daughter, my rechargeable camera batteries decided they needed recharging, so I didn't get a picture of the violets. How annoying! (Note to self, always take spare batteries!)
The violets were not forgotten and inspired me to paint a Violet Hare.

I love violets but especially love seeing them grow wild. They remind me of mossy banks and childhood walks and holidays. As a child whenever we visited Devon or Cornwall you would always see little bottles of violet scent as holiday souvenirs. Do you remember? I remember bringing them home as a gift for my Nan. I especially loved the white glass bottles that were hand painted I think? I 'm sure you can still get them, but they aren't as common as they were years ago. Years back violets were grown commercially and sold to Covent garden flower markets in London. Then during the war the land was used for growing food and violets went out of fashion. Browsing online, I was pleased to find that you can buy violet products here.
I like the name Violet. When I was painting, my mind wandered on the theme of violet and strayed here for no particular reason?
Violet Baudelaire from Lemony Snicket's books 'A Series Of Unfortunate Events'  Strange, imaginative and beautiful imagery. Here is a still from the film.

(Copyright Paramount pictures/Dreamworks pictures)

O wind, where have you been,
That you blow so sweet?
Among the violets
Which blossom at your feet.

The honeysuckle waits
For Summer and for heat
But violets in the chilly Spring
Make the turf so sweet.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

The violet hare is for sale in my Etsy shop along with a primrose hare here.


  1. Brings back memories of my Nan: Violet.

    She was a London Violet, partnered to a Covent Garden market man / Alf (also a London Coal man, just as in Doolittle)

  2. Such a wonderful name your Nan had. I'm sure she saw the devon violets for sale in Covent garden then and I'm sure was given many a posy. :)

  3. Violets are so delicate and lovely. Of course we don't have them wild in Australia, but you always find them in sweet cottage gardens.

  4. Beautiful violets my grandma liked them she always had them growing.Thank you for bring back my happy memories.Love Jill xx

  5. Lovely post,the hare with the violets is magic. I also like the Christina R. poem lol

  6. They are beautiful. Glad to hear you have them in gardens rex. :) And I'm glad I brought some happy memories back to you Jill. x

  7. Oh we always brought back those little white glass bottles of violet perfume from holidays in Devon every year! Memories of childhood summer holidays... I had forgotten about that. The hare is absolutely exquisite.

  8. My granny lived in Porlock, we spent a lot of time there (Somerset) and those little bottles of violet were always available I loved them too and their dainty paintwork - granny only wore shades of purple and violet perfume. I have wild violets growing in my garden, they are so beautiful - plenty more in the woods too.

  9. I always bought a little bottle of the scent from Bicton Gardens when I was little - we went to Devon every summer from Yorkshire as my mother's parents lived in Ottery St Mary, and then Budleigh Salterton.

  10. Yes! I remember buying those little bottles when we were on holiday. They are mixed with pictures of little pixies and wishing wells in the 1970's.

    I hope the hare comes bounding back with spring soon. I have become soft after our warm weather am feeling the cold.

  11. I was in Haworth late last year and noticed in the Apothecary's shop, some little green bottles of violet scent. Had to buy one!
    But I had to admit that I loved the film far more than I did the books - not often that that happens!

  12. your violet hare is lovely
    i love the wild flowers too
    sometimes i eat them....
    a lovely post
    in every way

  13. Violets are quite lovely and what a beautiful place to walk through and too.....I really love your hare, I think it is time I went and made my own hare painting........

  14. Your post brought back so many memories! I love the subtle scent of violets, and the colour. They are so precious. I'm trying to grow them in all the shady places in our tiny garden. Your violet hare is wonderful!

  15. My parents have violets in abundance in their garden this year, they really are lovely. Love Violet Hare, will there be in your Etsy shop Karen?

  16. The hares are beautiful. We have violets growing all over the garden this year. I can remember pretty little bottles of Devon Violet perfume from my childhood. Love the poem. Karen X

  17. I love wild violets...they are so pretty! I used to make flower essences a few yrs ago & made a lovely one from wild violets. :)

    They look beautiful on the hare.. I bet he's sold already :) x

  18. And I love that film... I must go watch it again soon! :)

  19. Just discovered your blog & art: simply beautiful. Bookmarking you.

  20. I have been an hour and a half here. Definitely some of the best time I ever spent. Dean Grey is correct as always. I want to Thank you. Your artwork has the welcoming folk art, yet each peice shimmers with its own magic. AMAZING. An admirer from across the pond

  21. Love your new Violet Hare painting. I have always loved the scent of violet cologne. Simple, clean, fresh and sweet. I have one of the little white milk glass, barrell shaped bottles. The violets on it are actually a decal but are still lovely. I believe the bottle is from the 1970s. I always look forward to reading your posts and seeing what new art you are up to.

  22. I'm not familiar with the bottled violet scent, although I'd love to see it sometime. But I grew up near a wooded area, and always used to pick handfuls of wild violets for my mom and grandma. I live in the desert now and miss seeing those kinds of flowers growing wild. Thanks for the reminder.


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