BLUE LOTUS OF THE NILE | Niki ButcherNaples Botanical Garden © 2021
Photographic Story Clyde and I were given the opportunity to spend a month at the Naples Botanical Garden photographing. It was an amazing experience of peace and beauty. They have an abundance of ponds with various kinds of lily pads. There is something magical and spiritual about lilies. Even though the plant looks delicate, it is very strong. Did you know that the flower may die, but its seeds may survive even without water for thousands of years, and when conditions are right, revive? “The Lotus flower is regarded as a symbol of purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration, and rebirth. Its characteristics are a perfect analogy for the human condition: the Lotus produces the most beautiful flower even when its roots are in the dirtiest waters. No matter how impure its origins, the Lotus still manages to bloom brilliantly. As the Lotus emerges from the water, its petals open up. For this reason, these beautiful flowers are also symbols of having an open heart and receiving others with compassion. The flower shows us that allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and available to others – approaching them with empathy instead of judgment – benefits others and ourselves.” As the soul grows and learns, “it unfolds itself, like a Lotus of countless petals.” Kahlil Gibran – The Prophet The Art of Hand Painting Black and White Photographs Photographed with a Sony digital camera and instead of oil painting with Q-tips and cotton balls, she was able to paint using Photoshop. Changing from the old-fashioned way of doing her art, to the new ‘fashion’ of using technology was challenging, but she’s enjoying getting back to her own personal expression. Archival Print Making Niki’s open edition gicleé artwork is printed on Sunset Bright Velvet Rag matte finish paper using eight archival inks. A state-of-the-art Epson Stylus Pro printer creates deep, rich dark values that hold subtle detail in the shadows as well as bright vivid colors that are truly tropical.