Peace, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, is a still life painting completed by Elizabeth Nguyen-Espinoza in mid-2017.  In the referenced painting series, the artist brings up the issues pertaining to the nature of the self and human experiences during one’s life journey in this world.

In the Peace painting, it shows a wooden Buddha holding a lotus flower in his hands in a meditative and praying position.  The light is reflected upward at the Budda to show his serenity.  In the background, a Japanese art print called View from Masaki on the Grove Near Suijin Shrine, the Uchigawa Inlet, and Sekiya Village shows a few people sailing on the water in a slow-motion manner.  Birds fly in the sky in the background and toward the Buddha.  The art print is wrapped with a plum branch pointing to the sky and at the birds.  Japanese cherry blossoms, also known as Sukura, wrapped around the art prints.  The significance of the cherry blossom tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years.  Cherry blossom represents the beauty of life and its fragility.  They bloom in the spring with lavish beauty but remarkably brief or short lived.  They are a constant reminder that life is beautiful but it can be tragically short, and therefore we should value it. The chosen art print as the background was carefully selected for this still life because of the colors, mainly blue, which is the color of hope.  The art print was among the hundred famous views of Edo, painted by Utagawa Hiroshige in 1958.

The artist staged a candle with burning flame next to the Buddha.  Candles and sacred flames are part of the mystical mystery of human experience.  The symbolism is a constant reminder of our connection to the mystery of our experience on earth and beyond.

“Health is the greatest gift; contentment is the greatest wealth; a trusted friend is the best relatives; a liberated mind is the greatest bliss.” Buddha

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