"In life, man is soft and tender,
Gentle Strength 6" x 6" Acrylic on canvas 2009
Lotus: Birth, rebirth, perseverance, transformation, spiritual awakening, triumph.
The lotus flower has many symbolic links in Asian religions as a symbol of enlightenment and transformation. Its association with birth and rebirth is due to its nature of opening its petals to greet the sun at sunrise and closing them after sunset.
As a symbol of triumph over hardships in life, the lotus begins life as a small flower hidden deep in the bottom of the pond, its beauty obscure, its strength unapparent in the mud and murky water, until it rises above the surface to bloom with all its beauty.
Its stem anchors the flower firmly in the ground so it is not easily washed away in a storm, representing fortitude as well as our ties to our personal roots and past while the flower represents the fruit of our labour. As the lotus bud had to struggle to rise above its humble beginnings to transform into an object of beauty, so is the human spirit beautified and made stronger with each challenge it overcomes.
Dragonfly wings: Light, joy, strength, maturity, change, adaptation.
Dragonflies are associated with many different meanings depending on cultural beliefs. The Japanese see them as symbols of strength, courage and happiness as well as martial success due to the similarity in the sound of the word "dragonfly" and "victory" in Japanese. Fragile, gentle, yet powerful in its flight as it gracefully darts in the air devouring other insects and peacefully hovers above water at other times, the dragonfly can be viewed as a symbol of gentle strength. As a creature that starts its life in the water to soar as a creature of the air most powerful in the summer with its wings reflecting the light of the sun, it symbolizes change and the self knowledge that comes with maturity.