LOTUS | Niki ButcherNaples Botanical Garden © 2021
Photographic Story The beauty and peace that I found at the Naples Botanical Garden were refreshing. The Asian Garden is where I found a sense of serenity and a favorite place for me, and it is where I took this image. When I looked up the Lotus flower online, I was impressed with its symbolism: “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.