Wisteria Flower painting & letting go of yearning.

Posted on December 18, 2016


The story of a Wisteria Flower Painting

‘Wistful- Definition:

‘Thoughts full of yearning or desire tinged with melancholy; also :  inspiring such yearning. Having or showing sad thoughts and feelings about something that you want to have or do and especially about something that made you happy in the past’

Video of the process of creating ‘Wistful’-

Wisteria Flower Painting

Painting Wisteria bringing up thoughts and memories

The process of painting ‘Wistful”, my Wisteria flower panting, as always, became a chance to ponder on thoughts and how to use the lessons of the past to change the future. First of all, painting, to me, is a form of meditation. A time to go into myself and think through what is going on for me. The paintings always give me another valuable lesson and therefore teach me something about myself which changes the way I think or act.

Hence this one was poignant for me and taught me more about how to use the past to create a positive future.

Thinking, Remembering, Yearning

There are times for all of us , when thoughts of happy times, memories or yearning for what we feel we want crowd the mind. Maybe it’s only human to ponder on the past, what might have been or what we want to be. However, dwelling on these thoughts for too long can lead to a sense of melancholy and sadness. Because wishing for what might have been or yearning for what we want tends to disconnect us from the present.

Being with those thoughts is probably fine, especially if we can turn them to the positive and use them to help us move forward. Since memories are precious and each holds a lesson. Happy memories remind us of what to do more of to be happy. Sad memories also help us treasure what is good. While regrets can teach us how to change and do things differently in the future. Consequently if we can learn and create change from our experience, then we can create a happier and more peaceful existence in the future.

Seems like a wisteria flower painting brought all this up for me.

Change the perspective

Personally, I try not to regret anything. Therefore using every experience in life to take me forward. By looking at what was and how it happened and trying to work out what I can change to create a different outcome. So, if we never made mistakes, we would never develop or grow as people. So those mistakes become precious jewels of learning. Signposts to a better future. Taking responsibility for them and looking at how to do things things differently shapes and changes the future.

Changing the perspective of how we see things can be so powerful. therefore a mistake becomes a lesson, an observation, a valuable tool. And so longing for something can become a goal towards achieving our dreams. As a result shifting the way we see things can be all thats needed to move from melancholy to positivity.

Being in the Moment

As all these thoughts pass through my mind while creating the wisteria flower painting, a clarity comes  putting both the past and the future in a different place. Rather than have them dominate and take over, they can be processed and moved aside. The past takes us to where we are now and the future can be an exciting adventure.

It’s the right now, this very moment which is important. What we do right now makes the difference to where we go. Just being totally present to being right here, right now has it’s own sort of freedom.

Choosing to be content with what is and how it is brings a quiet of mind and a sense of peace.

I feel lucky that the process of painting and creating allows me to do that, but that can transfer easily to all areas of life. Just being acceptant of how things are in the very moment without focussing on past or present stills the mind. In that stillness there is acceptance and peace.

From a place of stillness there is the possibility to create the future in a way which works better. To work towards goals one little step at a time, each step being valuable and moving us forward. To be aware of actions, recognise if we are heading down a familiar path which doesn’t work and do something differently.

Purples & Lime Green hit the right note

Choosing a subject to paint, colour is very often the leading factor which draws me to an image. in the wisteria flower painting once again, coincidentally ( or maybe not at all!) the colours in ‘Wistful’ totally harmonise withe the thought process while I was painting.

Using the purples and lilacs in ‘Wistful’ was very much part of the process. The colour purple tends to have a strong impact on the mind it

  • Uplifts
  • Calms the mind and nerves
  • Offers a sense of spirituality
  • Encourages creativity

Interestingly, it is the colour linked with the Crown Chakra, also known as the Sahasrara. It is linked to the crown of the head, the nervous system, and the brain, and is representative of pure thought. This chakra connects one with the infinite consciousness. Opening this chakra helps tap into a deep spiritual understanding. 

Lime Green is the colour of balance and harmony. From a colour psychology perspective, it is a great for balancing of the heart and the emotions, creating equilibrium between the head and the heart. 

Also the Wisteria flower in flower symbolism represents

Love,Grace,Bliss, Honour, Memory, Patience, Endurance, Longevity, Exploration, Creative expansion, Releasing burdens, The duality of love, Victory over hardship.

Seems like many of these also fit with what was going through my mind.

Two versions clarifying how things have changed

About 5 years ago I had painted this image of Wisteria in Acrylics. It was a big canvas which I gave to a really amazing man in Petersfield called Chris Grey, one the best Cranio Sacral Osteopaths I’ve encountered. He worked with my son on a regular basis and was great help to him.

Dubbed ‘the man with the magic hands’ by my son he was incredibly generous with his time and attention and my son really connected with the work. His favourite colour was lilac and  his treatment rooms had pale lilac walls. Therefore it seemed only fitting at the time that the original go to him as a thank you.  

However the image kept calling to me though and I wanted to paint it in pastels see if there was a difference in style in my favourite medium. Here are the two versions, both of which are available as limited edition prints here

wisteria flower paintings Anita Nowinska

The two versions of the wisteria flower painting. Wistful and Wistfulness in pastel and in acrylics

My personal favourite is the pastel one, but then I always get a much stronger emotional reaction when working in pastel. Maybe it is the immediacy or using my fingers to create the painting which has a stronger link. 

The original pastel painting is available here . I hope you enjoy it as much as I loved creating it!


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