Tulips Panel

My dear friend and colleague, Rob Morris passed away in the late winter of 2013. He was an architect who commissioned many of my works, including the Rose Women, Sistine Ceiling, and the McCormick House Sidelights and Transoms.

This was the final design I had written to Rob about before he passed. We both LOVED the Scottish designer of Art Nouveau, Charles Rennie MacIntosh. I sent him a picture of Rennie’s (that is what we called him) and wrote him that I was obsessed with these Tulips. This is my e-mail to Rob:

Dear Roberto,

How are you? I hope all is very very well!

Lately, I am OBSESSING about this watercolor by Rennie. Tulips. It puts me in a place of meditative awe.

I am thinking of doing it a as window panel. It will be gorgeous. Handblown pink glasses (they were part of the windfall I miraculously received). Golden glass that is also handblown, with the perfectly imperfect golden glass. Then I want to find the perfect opalescent glass for the brown/purple. Does this take your breath away?

Hugs and I have already played one luncheon gig with the Alexandria Rotary Rooters at the Belle Haven Country Club today and am leaving in an hour for my second gig with them tonight at an old folks home in Alexandria.

We are playing Christmas carols and I get to sing “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” I am loving this. My fellow musicians are old very old and it is literally, a little big band… horns and all!!

Love you and see ya tomorrow!!!


Here is a note I received from him just a few short weeks before his passing:

As I gaze out the bedroom window of my brother’s house, I sense the sun is reluctant to rise today. A gentle breeze animates the otherwise still mountainside beyond and I can’t help but think of you and others I love. By noon, we’ll have put my uncle to rest.

I was probably 3 when my aunt introduced this man to our family. Calm, less aggressive than me, Lamar always made the best of the moment in his shy boyish way. A prankster, a partner, he never stole the lead but was always smiling along side us.

When asked for whom the bell tolls, I know every time it rings, it rings for those left behind as that which would be our most intimate and enduring worlds is whittled away one chunk at a time. And anyone who has lost a loved one knows the ill defined isolation, feels the diminished sense; is reminded of others who went before. And once again, I want to put life’s reel to reel back on the projector to have one more glimpse of yesterdays I took for granted.
But if the bell forewarns, it also reminds. It tells us to hold a little tighter, to love with greater conviction; to worry less about tomorrow.

And so I find myself thinking of you, conscious of the past we have unwittingly created and the moments left to us to create.

We have forever but such a short time to script it.

Welcome to Thursday morning November 8, Pammie and thanks from the bottom of my heart for your commitment to me since that unexpected day my hillside slide into your waters. Admittedly, an unconventional introduction and yet how appropriate for two such as us. Artists, siblings… “Forever neighbors.”

I’ll smile at some point during this ghoulish burial tradition and know you are with me.

Know that I am with you
As always,

When Rob died on December 29th, 2013, I dedicated the Tulips Panel to him. It means so much to me and is in my studio. I think of Rob everyday.

Here is a tribute to the art of Rob Morris:

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