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Evergrow, the finished piece

No mud no lotus, Thich Nhat Hanh

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No mud no lotus, Thich Nhat Hanh

One of my most favourite motivs, that I always seem to be shown, is a lotus flower. And I wanted to create a piece dedicated to a lotus. Thich Nhat Hanh said “no mud no lotus”, which I interpret – and certainly not only I – in that way that beauty can grow from dirt. Please note: can, it’s not a given thing. A lotus flower grows in muddy waters, where you would not exactly go for a swim. And there are situations in life, where you can’t see beauty at first sight, but rather use describing words worse than “muddy”. It’s these moments that painting is a big help to ground myself.

This one I started with a background on watercolour paper, by painting and mixing and swishing different colours into each other, collaged bits and pieces on, and covered the whole paper with medium again and again. My favourite medium is from Golden, but any other works just as fine, like Mod Podge.

Each layer got to dry thoroughly before putting on the next one. I used stencils, acrylic inks, acrylic paint, and then I sketched the form of a lotus flower with black acrylic. And I did the circles, they are important, because I wanted to keep a few details, that I liked.

lotus flower starts

Lotus becomes Evergrow

I meant to keep the background in the leaves of the lotus and the circles. But plans change. I used my favourite colours and blocked in the circles and the flower, mixing the different colours in, with acrylics and NeoColorII crayons, which are watersoluable and give lovely effects. At the end I worked a few details in black and white acrylic and markers.

Evergrow, the finished piece

Evergrow

The paper did get an amazing feel by putting so many layers with the medium in between.

When I did the painting itself I was thinking how everything changes constantly, grows, and stays at the same time, how new leaves are coming forth always. Just like life, and I see this at the moment with my children, who started their journey into adult-hood. And with me, because you never stop growing and learning, there are always changes and movement.

I would like to know what you see changing with you and your surrounding?

By the way, you can get nice products with the design of Evergrow at Redbubble and Society6

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