Ponderings, by Jude Lobe, Oil on linen, 30X40, $1250

Waterlilies will always be synonymous with Monet. Every time we see a painting of water lilies we can’t help but be reminded of his works. And so artists try and stay away from painting them, however, they seduce us with their perfect beauty. Not only their beautiful shapes of foliage and wide range of colors depending on the place in the sky from where the sun shines but also the place where they dwell. That amazing water that reflects the colors of the flowers, sky and trees. 

How can an artist hold back from trying to capture the beauty of those scenes. I certainly cannot. And so the artist unfairly risks the viewer commenting, “oh, copying Monet”. Of course, we are not. We are just as awestruck as Monet. As are photographer artists, yet lucky for them, they are never compared with Monet.

Water lilies not only are beautiful themselves, but they choose to dwell in the most serene and lovely surroundings. I suspect I will be painting them for many more years. There are different perspectives to choose, and times of day to confront and explore.

They also inspire poets and writers. Like this quote from Jacqueline Close Moore:

“A pristine waterlily undiscouraged by its surroundings, rises from the depths of a murky pond. It’s lotus petals perfume the air, as it flowers and blooms brilliantly, purely, divinely, despite and probably because of its origins. Becoming a spiritual person does not mean you to leave your prior life behind, but instead you integrate, learn, remember, and respect what brought you to this point  in the first place.” 

And Henry David Thoreau wrote,

“But it chanced the other day that I scented a white water-lily…. It is the emblem of purity…. What confirmation of our hopes is in the fragrance of this flower! “

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Toad to Toad, Cold wax & oil, 8X18, $375.

In many cultures, frogs are a symbol of good luck and abundance, partly due to the very large number of eggs it lays at one time. In Rome, the frog was a mascot believed to bring good luck to the home. In Ireland, the frog is considered a relative of the leprechaun and capable of playing tricks on you when least expected. In Australia, the Aborigines believed that frogs brought the thunder and rain, to help the plants grow. It’s easy to understand that idea as in actuality, frogs usually bury beneath the earth and come out in large numbers when it rains to quickly lay their eggs.

In that same vein, the Celts believed the frog represented curative or healing powers because of its connection with water and cleansing rains.
The three-legged toad from China is the traditional pet of the immortal Liu Hai, who is the Chinese god of wealth. In Japan, sea-farers wore frog amulets when traveling across the river for a safe return. The word for frog in Japanese is ‘kaeru’ meaning ‘return’.
The frogs in our pond inspired the artwork above that I did with cold wax & oil. The symbolism of the frogs could mean all of the above, but I hope from hanging it on a wall it would remind one to swim through rough times and life transitions. Like the egg that grows into a tadpole and eventually a frog, we all go through transitions that change us and make us stronger.
This piece is hanging at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, 121 N. Churton St., Hillsborough, NC. Click here to visit my website.