By Ara


This is a painting of my sister’s plant. I sketched it with a mechanical pencil and layered watercolor on top. I chose cold-pressed paper because water dries much faster on it than the smoother, hot-pressed alternative. I didn’t do any wet on wet this time and instead waited for my strokes to dry before adding more.


My favorite part of this piece is the colors. First I applied a yellowish green to the leaves, then a bluish green. I recently discovered that mixing hues adds a huge amount of depth to a picture! Likewise, I didn’t use the pinkest pink for the pot and only darkened it. But I created the shadows with a watered-down blue. My final step was to clean up the painting with my green pen.


A few days before making this illustration, I was watering our houseplants. I sadly accepted that the once-yellow cactus was dead because I spritzed its soil a couple times. It contrasted with the peace lily, which needed two cups of water and liberal spraying several times per week! Why did a sprinkle kill the cactus while the lily thrived on a soaking? Because they are different plants and need different care to be healthy. This is expected with houseplants, but often forgotten with people.


When I realized this, I was blown away. Did the peace lily resent the cactus who couldn’t tolerate much water while he needed cupfuls? Often I look into others’ lives judgmentally and form assumptions about what’s best for them. Thankfully, God knows our individual strengths, weaknesses, needs, and desires. The Lord never ignorantly overwaters me, leaving me to shrivel up and die. And though I may wonder about others’ lives, I can rest assured that God is in control and holds all the answers.

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