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Stop & Smell the Roses (2016)

mixed media on canvas and wood (acrylic, paper, charcoal, felt, soft pastels)

Artist Statement


One of my favorite places to visit is the botanical gardens. I literally swoon over the lush colors in the fields and am consistently in awe of the myriad of varieties from beautifully ordinary to majestically exotic… Simply put, flowers make me happy.


Upon gazing at flowers recently, I started noticing characteristics that made each one unique. I noticed that no two were exactly the same, that they were fragile, delicate, and each one gives off a different scent all its own. They all have shapes that are unique to its 'culture' and if you look carefully, each petal tells its own story. The more I pondered, the more I realized how similar people are to flowers.


Then it hit me… Had I ever walked into a room full of people and been as amazed as I am when I see a bed of fresh hydrangeas? Do I marvel at the intricacies of a person as much as I do a bunch of gladiolas? Do I nurture the hearts of people, or even myself for that matter, as gently as I would care for a purple water lily?


In the wake of current events and all too familiar historical ones that sparked movements like Black Lives Matter and Black Girls Rock, these paintings seek to challenge viewers to pause, notice, and appreciate the beauty in themselves and of those that they encounter. Each painting in this series uses mixed media (paper, textures, etc.) and is named after a line in an original poem which celebrates life and love. It invites viewers to set aside their concerns, if only for a moment, and to stop and smell the roses.

This is the 1st installment of this series and each painting is named after a word in the following poem:

Part I:

say her name

for her life

is worth

more than gold


to live loved

and cherished

she is crowned

with liberty

and beauty is her halo

her heart

sings praises and

rays of sunshine fall from her


fiercely she gives

and gracefully so...

for a rose by any other name

would smell as sweet.

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