Flower Power

“Flower Power” by Stephanie Khattak. Acrylic Gouache, Watercolor and Metallic Drawing Ink on Paper. 2019.

I don’t paint many still lifes (still lives?), preferring instead the gesture and movement of figurative drawings. But I’ve noticed that every six months or so, my style and preferences evolve a bit. I wouldn’t say they ‘level up,’ because that means that one is better than the other, or that I enjoy painting one more, and other than improving as an artist, there’s not that much of a change. Maybe a better phrase is “level across.”

This potted plant isn’t found in nature. I started it because I had some new paints I wanted to test out. (Holbein Acryla Gouache.) I do like the way it turned out, though. I enjoyed filling in the pattern, and the flowers remind me of butterflies!

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“Wild, Blooming Places” collage and acrylic on Legion Stonehenge paper by Stephanie Khattak.

“The wild places are where we began. When they end, so do we.” – David Brower

We crave order, but are drawn to wild things: The tangle of wildflowers, the carefree ways of animals, the rushing rivers and rustling trees that can’t be truly contained or controlled by humans.

To “go wild” has come to mean to lose control, to stray from the path. And, so often when we try to simplify our lives, we try to do it by taking from ourselves, whether it’s through minimalist philosophies, over-scheduled life plans or other constricting frameworks. Maybe we should loosen up, be kinder to ourselves and experience the ways that life can also be simple when we just allow ourselves to flourish where we are, in the ways we are drawn to do so.

The creator who made the wildflowers, animals and rivers made us, too. And just like flora and fauna, we were made for wild and blooming places.