field studies

thistle symbolism

The layered symbolism that has developed surrounding the thistle flower begins with its spine-like stems and spiky blossom connected with the crown chakra or third eye. The color purple (named from this predatory mollusk!)has long been associated with royalty, good judgment and spiritual enlightenment. You can read more about additional connections that have been drawn throughout time and by varying cultures here.

Or you might recall or rediscover your own experience of the thistle through this painting.  

(flora) thistle, 24" x 24", water-based media on panel, 2015-2016 available via  spalding nix fine art

(flora) thistle, 24" x 24", water-based media on panel, 2015-2016 available via spalding nix fine art

azalea + bee painting meaning

Azaleas are known as symbols of abundance, fragile passion and from the Chinese, "thinking of home" as well as a representation of wealth. If you place azaleas, very toxic if prepared properly, in a black vase, this constitutes a death threat. A flour made from the dried flower and mixed in a carrier acts as a pesticide and medical research suggests that parts of the Chinese azalea can treat varying respiratory and rheumatic illnesses.

The bee's important role in our ecology is echoed throughout time in myth and in presentations of contemporary culture. While they are often symbols of royalty, power, vision and creativity, they are also considered symbols of Cupid's "sting" as well as of love, courtship and marriage. In Chinese works of art, if the bee appears on the flower, there is a suggestion of fruitfulness within the marriage or partnership. Within Hindu symbolism, a pairing with the lotus means reincarnation, on the forehead says transformation. Six is the sacred number of Venus the goddess of love and bees work in sixes - that is to say, hexagons. Numerologists believe 6 represents love as is multiplies odd and even (2,3) but is highly stable, symmetrical and balanced. Six energy is creative, conciliatory and nurturing. (Azaleas often offer six petals at the base of the flower.) Color associated with six is red and indigo.

katherine sandoz, (suwi1516) azalea, 3 5/8" x 5 3/4", water-based media on panel, 2015-2016

katherine sandoz, (suwi1516) azalea, 3 5/8" x 5 3/4", water-based media on panel, 2015-2016