Artist with Art: Onward. 36″ x 36″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2020 Cedar Lee

The “Plant Mama” series was born in 2020 with the coronavirus pandemic. While sheltering in place, I turned inward in search of a creative escape from the misery of the world. I found a new subject matter for my art in the plants in my garden and the potted house plants throughout my home, realizing they have been an obvious source of joy and endless fascination for me throughout my entire adult life. I began exploring my own relationship to my plants, and all the emotions they inspire in me, by incorporating the plant life around me into self portraits.

Loving plants, enjoying their beauty, their structure and patterns, marveling at the automatic way they create themselves, is as old as humans.

Flora and fauna go together. What’s one of the secrets to happiness as a human animal? Plants. The secret is in germination and cultivation, the feeling of progress that comes with watching seeds sprout and new leaves unfurl. It’s in noticing how a plant responds to sunlight and water. Sometimes it’s the feeling of an easy win, because when it comes down to it, a gardener cannot take credit for anything a plant does. The plant grows automatically. All we have to do is provide it with the conditions it needs then step back.

I have always loved the concept of the divine feminine as a creative force that exists in us all regardless of gender: it’s a balance between actively nurturing and simply providing a space for the growth of new life. Regardless of what you want to call it, this is the wisdom behind the green thumb. And when the growth happens, you get to celebrate!

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