Walking into a room.
Captivated by your splendid art collection, as you sip your morning tea.
Evocative paintings that speak to you and tell your story.
Sumptuous brushstrokes. Glorious colors.
The tangible sense of the artist who created your treasures.
As a plant lover, my ideas come from what flowers can teach us about loving ourselves.
I believe we're meant to be happy and free.
To feel wonder and awe. Exhilaration and passion.
To do things that truly satisfy and excite us.
To fall in love with who we really are.
However, it isn't easy.
Life happens. Other people's expectations get in the way. There's pressure to fit into a certain image, to live up to certain standards.
Society praises those who are "well-behaved","normal" and “perfect”.
We're expected to spend time and money to be lovable and acceptable.
I deeply understand the need to hear our own voices, in a world that constantly shouts at us to conform.
For years I thought I wasn't good enough. It's only through painting flowers and plants that I saw in a new light.
You're reminded of the complex mix of qualities that make up your personality, when you see the different shapes and colors that make a bouquet truly one-of-a-kind.
You feel braver to go for what you really want, when you admire the courage of plants to live fearlessly, even when others disapprove of them.
You feel liberated when you see plants growing with minds of their own, in different directions, shapes and forms, free from imposed standards.
You see your unbreakable spirit mirrored in the flowers - kindred souls cheering you on, supporting your search for what makes you happy.
A daydreamer who loved to do my own thing
On my report card, my daycare teacher had written, "Maria likes to draw and play quietly."
Funny how her comment precisely described my true self, before I started worrying about people's approval!
Out of place as a quiet, introspective student
In high school, I felt pressure to fit in and be more social, but what I really enjoyed was making art on my own.
Feeling flawed and inferior
Comparing myself to the popular girls with long legs and perfect faces, I saw in the mirror someone awkward and stubby.
It didn't help that some judged me for being different. I felt painfully ashamed and desperately wished to be someone else.
Envy towards those who seemed perfect
The one reliable outlet for my feelings was art class in high school.
Here's my interpretation of "Envy", a self-portrait about my anguish of not being pretty and outgoing like everyone else.
Another painting I did about feeling ugly and different from others...￼ ￼
Disconnected from my real self
After college, I felt more than ever that the world wasn’t a friendly place for those who were different.
As I kept trying to fit in, I drifted into jobs and lifestyles that didn't suit me, and away from my art.
How plants teach you to love yourself and be yourself
During those dark times, I often walked in nature to find peace.
Unexpectedly, realizations came as I saw different plants flourishing side by side, freely being themselves without comparing with others or needing approval.
Each was proud to be a unique hue in nature's rainbow.
Shouldn't we humans be, too?
Inspired by plants growing towards the sun, I felt encouraged to grow towards my own light: self-love, true happiness and my fullest potential.
I began taking care of that passionate little girl inside who loved to draw and paint.
Today I'm thankful to you, dear supporters and art collectors who allow me to lift your spirits with my art.
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I’m thrilled we’re connected, and look forward to sharing more with you.To your happiest life,