Nothing to Sneeze At? Pollen Picassos Pollen is making its mark as the latest tool for allergy-ridden amateur artists in Decatur, Ga. Louisa Bailey and others ahve put their sniffles aside to draw pictures in the yellow stuff.
NPR logo

Nothing to Sneeze At? Pollen Picassos

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/9452552/9452553" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Nothing to Sneeze At? Pollen Picassos

Nothing to Sneeze At? Pollen Picassos

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/9452552/9452553" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

LIANE HANSEN, host:

From a work of art that belongs in a permanent collection, to pieces of a more ephemeral nature - the pollen count has been especially high in Georgia this spring. And in Decatur, Louisa Bailey puts her allergies aside to create art in the yellow stuff. And she joins us. Hi, Louisa.

Ms. LOUISA BAILEY (Pollen Artist): Hi, good morning.

HANSEN: Good morning. You're doing more than writing the words "wash me" on your patio furniture. Tell us more.

Ms. BAILEY: Well, I - it was pretty bad this year. I've never seen anything like it. It almost looked like snow, but it was pollen. I mean, you could see the tire tracks on the street. And so I was hosing off my patio and just started drawing some pictures on my table, and sent them in to the local TV and kind of became a hit.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: So you took pictures of the art that you drew.

Ms. BAILEY: I did, and I don't know if I would call it art.

HANSEN: Well, what did you draw?

Ms. BAILEY: I love the Indigo Girls. They're from Atlanta. And also, the country band Sugarland is - they're from Atlanta, too. And I just drew stick figures of my favorite bands and sent them to friends. And they thought they were funny, and…

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: And so you photographed them, you sent them to a local station's Web site. What kind of response are you getting from - from those?

Ms. BAILEY: Very interesting. It was kind of hilarious because they started up a special little section on the WSB Web page, and people were sending in their own photographs of their own pollen art pictures. And my mother is actually a real artist. She's a painter. And she did one called "Chopin's Pollenaise(ph) in G Minor." She drew up a piano.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. BAILEY: So hers actually really looked like something. Mine just look like stick figures.

HANSEN: That's pretty funny, "Pollenaise."

Ms. BAILEY: But - yeah, then CNN called, and The Associated Press put a story. So it's just - it was just my way of kind of getting through the spring, but I guess it - it was quite a story. It was - I know it made a lot of people miserable.

HANSEN: Yeah, I bet. What did you do to keep from sneezing while you were doing this?

Ms. BAILEY: It was awful. I just took anti-histamine. But yeah, I sneezed about 45 times doing it.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Tell us about some of the other pictures on the Web site. What did you see?

Ms. BAILEY: There's one that is, sort of, an abstract thing that somebody did. Is the artist - I want to say Jackson Pollock?

HANSEN: Oh, he did, sort of, drip paintings and stuff(ph). Yeah.

Ms. BAILEY: Yeah. He did a little, and then a lot of them were just, kind of, simple - you know, hand prints and things like that.

HANSEN: Do you think this is going to become an annual event with you?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. BAILEY: Well, I don't know. It could be. It could be. It was kind of fun.

HANSEN: Pollen artist Louisa Bailey from Decatur, Georgia. Thanks a lot for speaking with us.

Ms. BAILEY: You're welcome.

(Soundbite of music)

HANSEN: This is NPR News.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.