The Clan & The Gathering
Oil on canvas
60 cm x 60cm, 24”x24” (each)
Alligators and crocodiles are similar but different, and often confused with one another. This is also true for the water lily and the lotus. The easiest way to distinguish a lotus from a lily is that a lily’s leaves and flower sit perched on the surface of the water, whereas a lotus is elevated, emerging from the water.
In ancient Buddism, the lotus is symbolic of enlightenment. While rooted in the mud, its flowers blossom on long stalks, as if floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire.
While I love this interpretation, I was even more intrigued to learn that lotuses of different colours represent different things. A white lotus represents purity of mind. A red lotus, a heart full of passion and emotional attachment. A blue lotus represents intelligence and wisdom.
Painting these purple lotuses felt cathartic in a way I didn’t fully understand at the time. The art poured out of me with complete flow, as tea pouring into a cup. It didn’t surprise me then, when I finally learned that the purple lotus is known as the Mystical Lotus. It represents the actual journey towards enlightenment, the odyssey of the soul.