Here is “Plant Mama.”
Here is a time lapse video of the creation of this painting!
Gardening, both indoors and outdoors, is one of my passions.
I’m in all the house plant groups. These enthusiasts affectionately refer to themselves
and each other as “plant mama” and “plant daddy,” particularly to show an
appreciation for beautiful pictures they share with each other: in each photo, the
plant mama or daddy is confident, sensuous, and joyful, surrounded by the jungle
of plants they grew.
The people’s stories, the bodies they occupy, and the plants
they love are always different, but the feeling they embody is always the same.
It’s a grounded kind of happiness, a simple satisfaction that came from one of
the simple pleasures of being alive: watching something grow. It’s
overwhelmingly positive. This feeling is why plant people are plant people.
I’m fortunate to own a rare variegated monstera plant called
Thai Constellation. It is still relatively small but I’ve had the pleasure of
watching it grow since I got it last year. I frequently take pictures of its
interesting white-spotted leaves. I used the leaves of my Thai Constellation
monstera as inspiration for this painting. My mind kept seeing the image of the
curved shapes and patterns of these leaves surrounding the hourglass shape of a
joyful plant mama, so I painted it!
While the humans are occupied with a global pandemic, the
plants are living in their own world, and they are still growing. Photosynthesis
Loving plants, enjoying their beauty, their structure and
patterns, marveling at the automatic way they create themselves, is as old as
I read some good advice about what to do when you can’t cope
with the feeling of the whole world spiraling out of control. Figure out
something that you have complete control over it, and control the heck out of
it. For me, attentively caring for plants is one of those things.
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!
In the summer, my veggie garden usually produces such a
surplus that I’m able to share piles of fresh produce with my neighbors. It
feels like making something out of nothing. It’s called a victory garden because
it feels like a win. It’s the spirit of abundance and generosity. The plants
keep growing. There is always more.
Plant Mama is a state of mind.