New Flower Paintings, and A Lesson From A Cherry Tree

New Flower Paintings, and A Lesson From A Cherry Tree

Inspired by my recent visit to the Rose and Herb garden in Atami, Japan, I have been feeling a strong urge to paint some flowers.

I sat on the sofa in my studio with a pencil and sketchbook, planning the paintings I would paint.

But as I was drawing the somewhat realistic flowers on the page, it felt very wrong to me.
The drawings looked like they would make a lovely wallpaper, a charming bedspread or a good fabric for a dress, not an art piece.

After all, I was not at all inspired to re-create the shapes and colors of flowers, I was eager to re-create the ESSENCE or FEELINGS that I had while walking in the park in Atami, smelling the beautiful blooms, being surrounded by flower bushes that were taller than me, and feeling their energy, power and vibrancy.

Flowers have such gentle and tender petals and powdery fragile stamens, yet they have such strong energy and brightness that is pure perfection.

When you look at a flower or at the patterns on a butterfly’s wings, or at the iridescent colors of a song bird, they all look so perfect.

It is a reminder that all of us are just as perfect, if we only allowed ourselves to see things that way.

When I realized that it is the essence and power of the flowers that I wanted to convey, I put aside the sketchpad and took a canvas instead.

On the floor of my studio, I laid out a big plastic sheet and on it, I spread my paint tubes, pallet knives and brushes.

I started by squeezing out paint and guiding it with my knives and brushes to form abstract splotches of paint that I later shaped into what felt to me to resemble the spirit of flowers.

It was so much fun, that I barely noticed the day going by, and was eager to return to the studio the next day to continue painting.

After two weeks of waiting for the thick paint to dry, I coated the paintings with a glossy layer of clear resin varnish.

The result was a bright finish that looks like liquid glass or a clear plastic.
Then I outlined and redefined the flowers with thin, silvery lines.

Jules who liked the results, told me that he thinks that art collectors would also like these paintings, and that they would sell well.
Even though I travel a lot and I am out of my studio for most of the year, I love to sell my art and see that it appeals to art collectors.

Selling my art encourages me to paint more.
This thought reminded me of a lesson that I learned during our last  pilgrimage.

We were climbing a mountain pass in a remote forest, and I was thinking about myself as an artist and of other artists who have told me that because their art does not sell often, it is not so easy to go into their studio to produce more artwork.

It is easy to be a productive artist when you have people waiting to buy your work, but it is a different story when your art does not sell well.

As we walked in the forest, we took a wrong turn and saw a glorious cherry tree in full bloom, perched on a precarious cliff overlooking the sea.
It was off the hiking path and definitely not planted by human hands.
Perhaps it reseeded itself from other cherry trees along the path.

An inner Voice softly said to me:

“Do you think that this glorious cherry tree is concerned with who will see or appreciate its blooms before deciding to give out its full glory?”

I knew that the wise inner Voice was right.
This cherry tree did not say to itself that it should not produce  flowers because nobody would walk by to appreciate them.

It did not decide to give out only half of its flowers, because it would be too much effort to produce when nobody would be there to see or like them…
This cherry tree was doing what it was designed to do by Nature or by Life itself.

It was following its own bliss, its own life’s purpose, and was giving and sharing its own beauty, even if nobody would be there to give it compliments and love it.

On that day, I promised myself to never again think this way.
I will paint beautiful things even if nobody would see or collect them.
This lesson is not just for art.
It is also a decision I have made that I will carry forward in my life.
I will dress nicely even when I only go to the farmer’s market.
I will think sweet and loving thoughts, even towards those who are not loving towards me.
I will see the glorious God in each individual, even when they themselves are unaware of this loving presence.

This is my vow to myself….

With love and endless care,


I am adding above the first few paintings that I have finished in the last three weeks.

3 Comments on “New Flower Paintings, and A Lesson From A Cherry Tree”

  1. You are a joy and God inspiration, you have enriched my life over the years, much more than you know, While you guys have been recording the world, I have been battling cancer. at this point it looks like we have won. love and blessings to both of you God smiles on those that smile back 😉 Love Ray

    • Dearest Ray,
      I don’t know what to feel first, sadness over the news that you had to battle cancer or joy that you have won the battle.
      I will choose to feel joy that you are well now!!!
      It is great news that you have healed.
      Thank you for writing to me. I love hearing from you!
      Always with love,

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