Inspiration Tuesday – January 2020

A New Years Resolution

I feel like it’s been far too long since I’ve had a chance to actually sit down and dedicate some time to putting my thoughts on paper. With the holiday season and new years officially over I feel like I can finally breath. 

Before we get going I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Lets make it a great one.

One of my new years resolutions was to create an inspiration Tuesday blog for the first Tuesday of each month, featuring a piece of my artwork, and sharing the meanings with you. Something I know I’ve struggled with in the past. I was always taught the meaning was meant for the eye of the beholder. It wasn’t until somewhat recently someone challenged that mind set. I find its inspired me. 

So this month, to celebrate the new year, and to celebrate that spring is coming I decided to start with my piece “Peony & Common Blue Butterflies” I know such a creative title! Right?

Peony and Common Blue Butterflies

The Inspiration 

I started working on this piece in the beginning of 2016 and completed it a few months later in the same year. Not really sure the exact dates anymore but I do remember there was a lot going on. 

I was nearing the completion of my college education, I graduated my program in September of 2016 with honours. I had decided to move out from my best friends place and move in with my boyfriend at the time. I was excited to start a new chapter in my story. It’s weird recalling all of this now. I’ve grown a lot since then, and realized this piece somewhat foreshadowed the events to come. 

If you’re new to my work, or you’ve been following me for a while now you’ll know I love the language of flowers, and symbolism. 

Let’s start with the Peony. Peonies actually have more than one meaning. Each taken alone represents very different things. A happy relationship, a new found prosperity, good luck and being humble or bashful are the most popular forms of symbolism the peony takes. I felt all of these things when the inspiration first hit.  

I recall this particular peony came from my mothers garden. I had taken a few home. During the process of colouring the petals I had made a few errors. I don’t really want to point them out it may ruin it for you, but If you look you’ll see the shade of purple I had been using shifts to a different hue in a few petals. Creating small areas of discolouration. And that brings us to the not so popular symbolism the peony holds. 

Discoloured of decaying petals on a peony someone gives you means all is not as it seams or impending change. For all of you tarot readers out there it’s like drawing the tower. 

Looking back at this piece now it’s like it foreshadows the changes my journey took. Leaving my downtown apartment, having to return to the hospitality industry to make ends meet, and the end of my relationship. It’s almost a bit creepy actually, except I think it’s incredible how a piece can grow and change as you grow and change.

Moving on to the butterflies. If you’ve been reading my previous blogs you’ll already know that a butterfly symbolizes your thoughts. This particular piece has two. Meaning two thoughts. 

Both thoughts lead to the emotions that the peony represents. 

The first was the desire to return to college and upgrade my education into a creative field and chase my dream of being a professional artist.  

The second was coming to the realization I was not happy on the path I was on prior to going back to school. It’s actually something I think about often. 

Framed, and on Display

Is what I’m doing taking me in the direction of what I want. To be honest I think it is. I have goals obviously, but I find I’m content where I am In this journey. I’ve been trying to get better at being in the present instead of staring off into the horizon. 

I still find this piece both inspiring and a good reminder of how far I’ve come. 

Since finishing the piece I have had prints made, they have since sold out. The original is still in my possession. I think when It finally finds that person it belongs with it will be an emotional day. You build an attachment with your work, you know?

This piece was created with watercolour, coloured pencil, and a little ink for the finer details. 

It measures 7 inches by seven inches

The outside measurement of the frame is 13 1/2 inches by 13 1/2 inches just incase you were curious. 

If this blog inspired you to own this piece.

Stay creative,

Justin 


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