Since the summer of 1985 we have had a small water garden next to our patio. Recently it has been neglected, however the Mrs. Perry D. Slocum Empyreal Lotus (not a typo--that was its name from the supplier) in my garden remains healthy. And in fact, it has taken over the pond, as it will do in any body of still water. The growing season for lotus begins with a few leaves floating on top of the water. As warm weather ensues, the leaves begin to shoot above the surface of the water and open like a big umbrella. Then, in June, the flower buds rise above the umbrella leaves and begin to open. The first day, they are at their most vibrant color--a peach striated bloom. Each successive day, the bloom changes in color and seems larger, until it is dinner plate size. And the day before losing its petals, the blossom is pale yellow with very few peach striations in the petals. But this plant isn't finished yet. As it matures, it reveals a small greenish pod in the center, and after the petals fall, it continues to mature into the typical brown lotus pod you see in floral arrangements, with big brownish seeds in the holes. Then they begin to lose their seeds, and the pods become fodder for floral arrangers.
So in the past, I have recreated Mrs. Perry D. Slocum in watercolor, oil, and an etched zinc plate, which led to many signed and numbered hand-pulled prints back in the early 1990's. Now she is displayed in my latest creation in 3-D constructed with Black Ink handmade papers from Graphic Products Corporation.
Thanks go out to Beth Grubb, the amazing artist who introduced me to Black Ink papers last year when I got my fingers all messy with Mod Podge and those wonderful papers and made some art with them! She inspired me to again do a floral piece. She had a class last weekend at our local PlazaArt store, and she brought in some of Black Ink's newest papers. These papers jumped out at me and screamed "Lotus in a pond!!!" So we were given a square canvas, upon which I began the re-creation of a lotus blossom. I would have loved to show the umbrella-like blooms floating above the water, but it would have had to be displayed lying on a table, not hanging on a wall! So instead, I applied a portion of a leaf three times around the edges, giving the illusion of 3-D leaves.