HomeIn the StudioTrillium Shaman

Trillium Shaman: a pastel painting by Stephanie Thomas BerryTrillium Shaman
10″ x 16″
pastel on board
$350

I love Spring in the Southern Appalachians: the trilliums, the orchids, the mosses, the ferns. I love watching the early, many-hued palette of spring move up the mountainsides: brilliant chartreuse birches, delicate taupe-orange sarvisberry crowned with white flowers, golden sassafras, and of course the delicate magenta maple blossoms. Life awakens in a flourish of laughter.

I found this trillium in the sheltered hollow of Crabtree Falls, which is off the Blue Ridge Parkway, north of Mount Mitchell. It was too cold outside of this sheltered spot for much of anything to be blooming in the forest, and it was April–still quite cold up in the mountains! I settled into the ground and began to sketch. There’s something magical about sitting with anything and taking the time to sketch it, to pay attention to the details and the overall stature of something that is alive, and, you realize soon enough, aware.

That’s when the world shifts. Or rather, your perception of the world. It takes some time, and some practice. We humans get very ingrained with a particular way of seeing the world, and thinking about the world. It’s very left-brained, scientific, objective view. You have to fall into the flower. You have to hold in your awareness the wisdom of a plant that has existed on this Earth far longer than your own species. You think of flowers as ephemeral and delicate, but this flower tells you differently. She invites you in, she reminds you of the utter miracle of life. Life abounds. Persists. Sings. You fall into the flower, and you are not the same.

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