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Happiness Generates Happiness!

 By O.M.Braida

Dear Friends:

We’ve talked before about creating art that is fresh, alive, and contemporary.  It may be old information, but sometimes going back over what we think we know, helps us achieve a new perspective.

Contemporary still life is a testament to the mysterious act of seeing and relating images to contemporary culture.  Often it is sensuous, provocative, and psychological and reflects some influences from previous artistic styles dating as far back as 17th century Dutch vanitas paintings — the still life genre that symbolized the passing of all things. “In all eras, the act of isolation of everyday objects, and the artist’s ability to dramatically present these subjects center-stage, make still life a powerful expression of the artist’s point of view, literally and metaphorically.”

Many still life painters, and botanical painters, employ the techniques of the old masters.  The genre of botanical painting that specifically employs these concepts adds an air of historical importance to the artwork.  These techniques together with daring composition and an interesting, highly realistic subject, afford the viewer a plethora of pictorial information that can often take ones breath away. So it comes down to not “what the world needs” but “what makes you come alive.”  According to the Dalai Lama, “The very purpose of our life is happiness, the very motion of our lives is toward happiness.”  Creative expression that releases our happiness generates happiness.

Truly our entire state of being knows its direction.  Our blood travels its destined path, our feet nose and eyes point forward, we grow bigger, certainly older, and often wiser.  With all the road signs that indicate the direction of the flow, we often get caught in the catch.  The proverbial ‘road to happiness’ ends.  Somewhere we separate the act of exploring with the act of achieving.  Forgetting of course that the two are one.

I thumbed through an old edition of “Art News” and stumbled upon two road signs that helped to confirm and encourage “flow:” A quote from Georgia O’Keeffe and a painting by Morris Graves.

At the age of 36, Ms. O’Keeffe rebelled against her apparent attachment to critical opinion and produced a series of exquisite watercolors that were united with her true self.  This revelation was indeed for me supportive to a host of internal intuitive rumblings.

Then, a little bird carried me to the artwork of Morris Graves.  “Young Irish Bird” painted in 1954 (see it here: ) was just one of the marvelous nature paintings produced by Morris Graves (1910-2001) — one of America’s most esteemed artists. Although he is best known for paintings that reflect journeys into the spiritual realms, it is particularly informative to note that for the 20 years preceding his death, his paintings we primarily of flora and fauna.  See his delicate composition of Winter Bouquet (flowering quince, rosehaws, narcissus, winter rose and camellia), 1977 at David Kimball Anderson Gallery:

A trip through the web in search of Morris Graves art reveals paintings that have a detectable mystical energy that one feels through sight.  Learn more about Morris Graves and his work here: The Graves Foundation mission is to provide the former home of Morris Graves as an inspiring location for artists and art scholars to work and study together in harmony. The facility, known as “The Lake,” is a place of solitude and peace surrounded by ancient beauty. There is happiness at the end of this rainbow, or is it the beginning. “The Lake” was once offered as a retreat for artists and may still be available for use by visiting artists. Read about The Lake here: and here:

I hope you find many reasons this season to encourage your creative flow and that you find this happiness does in fact generate more happiness.

God bless. OM

Aventuras Naturales, a Florida based eco travel company, and FNPS have partnered together to create an exciting and educational plant expedition to Nicaragua for FNPS members only.  Following the success of our sold out trip in November, Aventuras Naturales has added a second expedition to this Central American nation.  As one of the least explored countries in the region, Nicaragua’s flora and fauna is only recently emerging as being very distinct from her neighbors Costa Rica and Panama.  Her dramatic geography, marked by volcanoes, lakes and forests, creates a striking landscape and biodiversity second to none. This is the perfect trip for the nature lover and plant enthusiast!  Trip Date:  January 14th, 2012  — Trip Length:  12 days.  Price:  $3300 (includes airfare from Miami International Airport)  Activities:  Hiking, Plant Exploration, City Walks.  There are only 3 spots available.  Act now if you want to be a part of this amazing trip!   Contact us today to reserve your spot!  954.603.2907  or email:

Book Buys


Fleurs Étranges by André Martin – Photography

Click here


The Metamorphosis of Flowers, by Claude Nurisdsany

Click here

One Hundred Flowers
by Harold Feinstein

Click here

Plantes Extraordinaires

by Arnoud Descat and Patrick Mioulane
Photography – Click here


Wild Flowers of the World

Paintings by Barbara Everard

Text by Brian Morley, Ph.D.

Click here


Georgia O’Keeffe and the Calla Lily in American Art

1860-1940 by Barbara Buhler Lynes with

Essays by Charles C. Eldredge and James Moore.

Click here


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