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Pardes series #7. Tree of Life

My series of paintings, entitled Pardes, is a celebration of spirituality, life, and Jewish art. The latest painting, depicted here, is a bold example of hidden symbols art that combines my modern view of the world as an artist and my unbreakable bond with the history and heritage of who I am. I believe that the works in this series express how the two work symbiotically every day- not just in me, but in all of us.

This image is a part of Splash of Life series paintings of Elena Kotliarker

In this joyous painting, my inspiration was the idea of rebirth and inner renewal through spiritual and physical connections. The work began as a tree of life, which remains the central form, but it developed into something more emotional for me. As with so much Jewish art, symbolic meaning drew me to a deeper place as the painter and ultimately helped me create a more layered and dynamic work. 

This image is a part of Pardes series paintings of Elena Kotliarker

The tree is a textured and busy flourish of color that flows into the shape of a heart. In my opinion, love is at the center of life: it creates it, it drives it, and it remains until the end. Love for one another, love of faith, and love of life drive us all in the decisions we make and ultimately shape how we grow, which is why I wanted the tree to take this form. 

This image is a part of Pardes series paintings of Elena Kotliarker

Hidden Hebrew words buried within the vibrant, textured leaves of the tree represent how the past and our heritage are so deeply woven into the fabric of who we are. This type of hidden symbols art reminds me that no matter how much we shout to the world where we came from, it always remains a part of us in our hearts and souls. 

This image is a part of Pardes series paintings of Elena Kotliarker

Alongside the Hebrew words are two butterflies. The butterfly is symbolic in Jewish art and faith as an image of resurrection and the wonderous nature of growth and change. Their physical transformation reminds me that it is always possible to evolve within ourselves – spiritually and emotionally. Making them a focus in this latest Parades painting was my reminder to myself and others that time changes us, but who we are was ultimately always within us. Just as the butterfly was always there within the caterpillar, we just need the time and opportunity to reveal who we truly can become. 

I hope this painting inspires others in the same way it inspires me to look towards the best in life while remembering the importance of the past. Our roots are as important as the new branches we grow, and beauty can also flourish when we are firmly planted and connected to what matters the most. 

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