There is something magical about flowers – not least of all the peony. Generations of people have assigned hidden meanings and mystic powers to flowers of all kinds- from healing to luck to eternal life. As an artist, I love to explore the evocative nature of the things I paint, and it often leaves me questioning why: what is it about flowers that make us feel the magic?
Even in a small painting like my latest work, Magic of Peon, it is easy to feel drawn in by some sort of hidden power. I chose to create a contrast between the expected light, ethereal, and joyous tones associated with peonies with a grey background and flashes of deeper earthy tones. My reason for this was to explore the two sides of the peony’s story: a beautiful flower symbolic of luck and love and the ancient healing power and mythology that has carried through the ages.
In my opinion, it is difficult not to assign hidden power and meaning to flowers due to the very nature of their existence and the way they make us feel. How can something that grows from dirt to become so vibrant, magnetic, and fleetingly beautiful- evoking passion, emotion, and much more- not possess magic?
Peonies hold a particularly special place in my heart. To me, they represent hopefulness, happiness, and human connection. As one of nature’s most layered, textured, and fragile flowers, they remind me of us.
This small painting is a simple but bold image that sums up the hidden meaning in my mind. The peony alone stands bold and beautiful, representing all the wonderful things about life, yet there is more to the story. Vibrant green vines lead to new growth- connected but separate. The new flower represents the mind’s eye- the very thing that allows human imagination to tie value and depth to mother nature’s most beautiful art form: the flower.