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My Creative Journey with a Roadside Magnolia

On March 13, 2021, nearly a year after the President of the United States declared a National Emergency due to the Coronavirus outbreak, I reserved a space at a local farmers market to showcase and sell some of my home decor books and magazines. As I left my studio that day, an inexplicable feeling prompted me to take along a particular painting—a magnolia I had crafted on a square wooden board.

Despite a slow day at the market where I didn't sell a single book, a turning point occurred towards the end. A lady approached and inquired about the price of the magnolia painting. Upon purchasing it, she shared that her daughter served as an art curator for a children's hospital in New Orleans.

The three paintings of native Louisiana Flowers for the children's hospital in New Orleans

This painting had come to life about a year earlier when I encountered some beautiful magnolias along the roadside. The large petals, glossy dark green leaves, and vibrant red stamens left an indelible impression. Captivated by the scene and inspired by the likes of Georgia O'Keeffe, I decided to capture the elegant state flower of Louisiana in a close-up composition.

Months after the sale, the hospital that her daughter was employed reached out, expressing the desire for three more colorful paintings focused on Louisiana's flowers.

In reflecting on this journey, it's remarkable how inspiration can emerge unexpectedly, even on the side of the road. That chance encounter with nature sparked a creative process that not only resulted in a meaningful sale but also forged a connection with a curator passionate about bringing art to children in need. The magnolia, views on a roadside observation, became a symbol of unexpected opportunities for me and my career as an artist.

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