Do You Know Snowdrop Blooming in Winter?
Floriography - the meaning of flower - is the reason of this painting was born. It was created for 'Floriography' show curated by Zoë Williams at Gristle Art Gallery, located in the heart of Brooklyn, NY.
When I received the invitation of joining the show, I got all excited because learning the meaning of flower is sort of an interest of me. After several hours of researching, I picked snowdrops as the main theme for my piece, because their meaning resonant with me.
Snowdrops blooming in the cold winter. They broke through the layer of snow in order to meet the sunshine. They are the symbol of purity, hope and rebirth, which reminds me of cycle of everything in life.
Everything happens in cycle, where it's ending is merely another beginning, even though the new cycle is definitely different from the previous one. Life and death. Morning and Night. Desire and achievement. Happiness and Sadness. All these happening in cycle.
To bring up this greater meaning inspired by snowdrops, I added other symbolic plants in the painting.
Black Four-Leaf Clover
See those four-leaf clovers at the back of the lady?
Originally, four-leaf clover has an honor reputation of bringing good luck. But when I put them in black, I 'translate' it as bad luck. They represent the lady's misfortune past. What happened had happened, she couldn't do anything for them. Hence, she put all behind (her back), then look forward and moving on.
Moss In Cracks
In real life, people want to remove moss from the cracks of their driveway, patio or sidewalks. However, in this painting, the lady want these moss grow wildly between the gaps of her body's cracked wounds. Because they bring the meaning of curing and healing.
What happened on her past was painful enough to crack her, but all these wounds will be healed as time passes. It's impossible to revert everything back to the original look, so she use alternative solution to recover her wounds. In this case, moss is her medicine. It grows from within and filling the gaps to make thing whole again.
Don't you think this is the real kind of healing? Anything apply from the outside is temporary. The miracle solution can only be found within our heart and mind, which is hope, belief and willingness.
To heal the wound, we must believe in ourselves, willing to make effort to breakthrough the cold layer of snow (sadness, disappointment, lost) in order to see the sunshine (hope comes true). In this time, we're reborn, and stronger, and brighter.
As usual, here's the process time-lapse video of "Ending/Beginning". In this painting, I tried Arches Oil Paper for the surface, which is paper made to be use for oil painting that will prevent oil bleed through the paper. If you love the feeling of brushing on paper when doing watercolor, you sure will like painting oil on this paper. However, the surface is different from normal paper. It was made to look like canvas. So, it's not very much different from painting on canvas to be actual.
This piece is now on 'Floriography' show at Gristle Art Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, until May 5, 2018.
If you're anywhere near the gallery in this period, visit to the show to see this painting along with other amazing artists' work. More info on the gallery website.
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VIDEO TECHNICAL ISSUE:
I have to apologize for the 'shaky' parts in this video. It appears to be 'shaky' because the painting shift a little every time I put down brush or my hand touched the painting. The support board I used is a lightweight corrugated plastic sheet. In normal speed, you wouldn't notice the shifting; but it'll be obvious when speed up the video from days into few minutes. I hope to have your understanding. I learnt my lesson. I'll use harder board, maybe a wood panel as the support if I'm going to paint on paper again.