Creating ‘Love’- A journey through a Dog Rose Flower painting

Posted on November 1, 2016

‘Love’ Dog Rose Flower painting

Creating a Flower Painting from a poem

‘Love’, probably the worlds most evocative word. Therefore creating my latest flower painting became a journey. Not only through a poem and a flower painting, but a process of learning for myself too.

Love, a thing we all need, want, feel in so many ways. A feeling which can inspire the greatest joy and the greatest pain.

The Poem

As I embarked on the second of the paintings inspired by Paul Warren Goldstein’s poetry, a melee of thoughts and emotions swirled through my mind.

love-by Paul warren Goldstein

Love, in all its forms

So many types of love we experience… the love of a child for its parents, the love of friendships, the love of a woman for a man, man for woman, man for man, woman for woman,  the love of a Mother for her child and of course the one we tend to neglect the most.. Love of oneself.

Love can give you wings, fill the heart with warmth but in some guises it can also trap, hurt and ensnare. It feels so important, to me, to be aware of what is really experienced and why when love enters the stage.

Thoughts as I embark on the Flower Painting

The way we receive love throughout our lives shapes and makes us who we are. Paul’s poem touched parts of me from every period of my life and bringing me answers and clarity as I painted. My flower paintings always hold a process for me, giving emotionally what I need to learn in a any moment. I am always attracted to painting something which speaks to me or teaches me something.

Working in conjunction with the poetry has added an extra dimension to this and made the process even more powerful.

Memories come to mind and thoughts surface as I paint

My own relationship to this most simple and yet most complex of emotions has been turbulent throughout my life. As a child I craved the love of a father who was unable to show or give it, lost in his own world of pain, alcohol and anger. A legacy passed to him by his own loveless upbringing. Leaving me with self doubt, a striving to be good enough to be loved.

 A Mother trying her best to compensate with a love which appeared unlimited yet held conditions and expectations which smothered and suffocated.

As a young adult searching for that validation which love gives in relationships with the wrong men. Mistaking physical attraction for genuine love. In friendships which took and sapped but gave little. Over the years the learning curve has been steep and only in the past 10 years the true understanding and breakthroughs came for me.

Becoming a Mother, a single Mother, brought revelations on the true meaning of unconditional love… in loving a child, protecting him, but loving enough to let him spread his wings and grow into himself. In making mistakes but remaining open to letting go and giving unconditionally.

The flower painting gives me what I need to learn

The greatest and most valuable lesson has been the most recent. The conscious choice to remain single as I raised my young son. The choice to learn to love and respect myself without the need of external validation. To know solidly and securely that I’m OK, that I can be at peace. Happy and content in myself for who I am, without needing external acknowledgment to keep proving it.

The power of choosing true and genuine friendship where love is shared, given without strings. The freedom to put aside toxic people and not be affected by their anger or issues, knowing that my own integrity is intact and that I don’t need to be loved or liked by those who don’t see who I am.

It can still be a struggle and therefore it is an ongoing learning and practice to embed in my life the fleeting moments of true acceptance. 

Understanding that the lack of self love is the biggest contributor to illness. That  ME, Fibromyalgia, exhaustion can be a result of not loving or caring for myself for so long. That the path to health and wellbeing lies within. To nurture and look after myself as well as others is the only way to be healthy and maintain balance in life.

Accepting Love and loving myself- A Flower Painting teaches me the lesson

The process of creating the flower painting ‘Love’ gave me time to reflect on it’s meaning in my life. To really imbed where I am right now, the lessons I have learnt and those I am still grappling with and trying to process.

These days to me ‘Love’ means something free, open, unattached to expectations.

Something pure and generous which is the greatest gift when offered in such a form.

Not a word to use lightly.

It is something that is beautiful when received as gift from others but that the greatest gift is to love myself and be at ease with who and where I am.

Paul’s words touch my heart as I paint and the clarity touches my heart

What does Love mean to you?

‘Love is available as an original painting in pastel in my online store and also as a limited edition print


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