When I was a child, my mother kept luxurious flower beds (she still does a fair bit of flower gardening today). During the hot days of summer, she would get out the gallon buckets and mix the correct proportions of water with fertilizer, and hand me and my sisters each a bucket and a measuring cup. In the cool of the morning, on hands and knees, we would crawl along the borders of the flower beds, carefully dumping the requisite number of cups of the mixture onto each plant.
Tending to flowers is almost a form of prayer, because they generally do not provide us with food or shelter, and so it is a sacred act of cultivating beauty. They are temporal, and their existence hints at the sensual, for their role is to reproduce and propagate the species. Flowers can be easily taken for granted during the warm months, and yet, each blossom is also a small miracle.
With their alluring colors, delicate petals, and intoxicating fragrances, flowers beckon the senses to partake in their sensory symphony. Each bloom is a passionate testament to life's vitality, and their soft, velvety textures invite gentle caresses. The graceful curves and intricate designs of their blossoms awaken desire and admiration, like a lover's tender embrace. Flowers, in their ephemeral beauty, mirror the sensuality of life itself, a reminder that the world is a place of wonder and sensory delight. They are nature's own embodiment of romance, a fragrant, visual poetry that ignites passion and stirs the soul.
I do not have my mother's patience with my own flower beds, and they ramble wild and unkempt by the end of the summer. But I share her love of the beauty of the blooms, and my meditation is manifested in painting them with bold and free brushstrokes to capture the sense of passion they evoke. Poppies in particular call to me frequently because of their unique combination of beauty and fragility. Their resilience inspires me to paint them again and again.
The poppies in my flower garden, captured during their brief bloom season this spring.