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Originally intending to create a detailed botanical watercolor illustration with interweaving stems and defined life cycle stages of the Hydrangea, I left this painting simple. A picture of young life, fresh and hopeful, yet isolated and cut off too soon. This painting gracefully illustrates the wild, intricate beauty innate to this flowering plant.

The day I began this illustration in early June, I learned I had lost a lifelong friend to her long struggle with mental illness. After learning of my friends’ death, layer after layer of color in this piece were spent processing her death and grieving her loss. Hydrangeas have become for me, a symbol of connection, a reminder to hold all that is with gratitude and grace.

My collection WILD is a celebration of life, but throughout the entire process of creating these pieces, I grieved the permanence of death. Life and death are inseparable. This piece is a reminder to me to hold them in balance; to grieve and celebrate simultaneously. My collection WILD, a series of watercolor botanical illustrations inspired by Terry Tempest William's words "To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from."

The original piece was gifted to the family of my friend who passed. All proceeds from the sale of prints will be donated to the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention.


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