Karina James – Pressed Flower Artwork

Like most Americans, artist Karina James has traveled a long way from her ancestors. She traces her unique history back to the beautiful country of Guatemala, nestled deep in Central America. She has embraced her new opportunity with passion and creativity. Drawing inspiration from flowers, petals, and pieces of bark, she creates beauty with the natural world which surrounds us all. It takes an attentive, mindful eye to see what world and to bring it into fresh view.

In Karina’s case, it was a pair of friends which first brought the flowers into focus. One friend was gathering up flower pieces as raw materials for crafting. Another friend looked at those items and commented to Karina, “What are you going to make – a peacock?”

Those words rung in Karina’s mind long after she returned home. Indeed, the colors were vibrant. The threads were delicate. She carefully set to work. She had to cut delicate diamonds out of blue and black to form the eye petals. Then there was the researching of what a peacock’s dimensions presented and how to recreate those in birch bark and lobelia. It was a painstaking process.

Karina works with careful precision. She draws out the initial dimensions. She organizes her supplies and carefully dabs each flower with Elmer’s glue. Then, carefully, with tweezers and toothpicks, she puts down each item.

This is an activity that those of us with less-than-ideal hands could never dream of attempting. We are incredibly grateful that people like Karina exist in the world. For without them, such visions would never be realized.

Item by item, petal by petal, Karina dabs glue on each specific spot and lays it down onto the background. Banana peel for the branch. Birch for the legs. She won’t spray any sort of fixative or glue over the face of it, because that would mar the overall effect. She trusts in the environment to hold together. She has faith.

The artwork holds.

What results is not just a work of art. It’s a cohesive community of nature – a collaboration of flower, tree, and hope. It is an inspiration of Guatemala realized in a nestled suburb of Massachusetts.

It’s a sign that our world comes together to create a beauty which we all treasure.

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