Uncork the Color
Celebrating a Creative, Joy-filled Life

Thoughts On:

the “Enduring Roots” Series

As far back as I can remember, flowers have always had a special appeal for me. I think I inherited this love of flowers from both branches of my family tree, but especially from my maternal grandmother. As a child, I admired my Grandma ‘Mac’s’ floral oil paintings which hung on the walls of her home in Ulysses, KS. I found these beautifully painted realistic flowers to be a great inspiration, so much so that I dreamed of following in her footsteps someday.
Grandma 'Mac'

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Mailboxes & Barn

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Orange Poppies

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Pink Double Fuchsias

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I also found the flowers growing in our garden at home when I was a child to be a source of inspiration, as are those that I grow in my garden today and those I find in the world around me.  I am drawn in by the soft forms and vibrant colors.  I am amazed by their many varieties, textures, and patterns.  They are a source of light and hope, and for me, a small reminder of the love of Christ.  Consequently, flowers are a boundless source of inspiration for me, and I never cease to be captivated by them, or to be enticed by the challenge of drawing them realistically.
Also since childhood, I have carried a deep love of my Irish heritage. I am intrigued and fascinated by the Emerald Isle, its history, people, culture and mythology. At times in my life that interest has taken a more prominent role than at others – similar to the waxing and waning of seasons I suppose. As my mom and I started talking about planning a trip to Ireland a few years ago, my interest in Ireland has become a passion, and as a result I have found a renewed interest in and enthusiasm for the Celtic designs and artworks that are a fundamental part of Irish history and culture.
Blarney Castle, Co. Cork

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Sutton Hoo Celtic belt buckle, early 7th century

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Through this “Enduring Roots” series of colored pencil drawings, I have found the opportunity to combine these things that I love, which are such an integral part of who I am – my faith, my heritage, and my love of flowers.  I see these three loves as some of the “enduring roots” of my life, the roots from which I grow.  They’re the things that stick with me and ground me in a way.  They’re the things that provide me with inspiration and renewal.  They’re also like heirlooms that have been passed from generation to generation – my connection to my ancestors, the legacy of my family.  And, in a way, I suppose this is my way of passing on or sharing those heirlooms.  So, it’s a deeply personal series for me, one in which I’ve found many ‘full circle’ moments where I can see God’s guidance, direction, plan, and presence throughout my life.
It’s a series that’s very personal for me in another way too, in that it helps me to express the most important message I feel I have to share – the message of love and salvation that is ours through faith in Christ.

To that end, I try to incorporate a great amount of symbolism in my work.  I start with the symbolism of the flower I’ve chosen to draw and consider how I can relate that symbolism to Christ or my Christian faith.  Then I begin to select traditional Celtic motifs that I can incorporate into an original Celtic cross design. While historians have been unable to definitively determine what the various Celtic knots and patterns meant in Celtic culture, over the years, these designs have been attributed with various meanings and symbolisms.  (You can read my post about those symbolisms here.)  As I design each artwork, I work to select Celtic knots and patterns which have been attributed with meanings that I can merge with the symbolism of the flower I’ve chosen in an effort to communicate that message of the light, love, and hope of Christ in a world that can often be very dark.

For me, this series has been and continues to be a wonderful and fascinating journey of discovery, and an opportunity to express and communicate from the depths of my heart.  It is a journey I plan to continue as I see much more to explore in this series including becoming more knowledgeable and proficient at creating Celtic designs as well as the challenge of drawing many more varieties and colors of flowers.

You are loved with an EVERLASTING love!

– Jeremiah 31:3

Above all, it is my sincere hope and prayer that this series will shine a bit of the light, love, and hope of Christ into your life – that it will provide you with an uplifting, encouraging moment where the burdens of life don’t seem so heavy.
One of the great things about art is that each piece can mean something different, or speak differently, to every person that sees it.  I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings about my “Enduring Roots” series.  Just leave your thoughts in the comment box below or send me an email from the “Let’s Chat” page.

Thanks for spending part of your day with me!


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