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  • Writer's pictureSteph Holmes

The Story Behind Little Acorn's Reincarnation

It's true that every artwork I make has a story, emotion, or spark of inspiration behind it. But what may come as a surprise is that my process doesn't start with a predetermined narrative; it unfolds intuitively.

My paintbrush has a way of extracting stories, memories, and emotions from within.

This approach makes each painting session a genuinely healing experience and keeps it unpredictable and exciting.

While I may not always know where the process will lead me, there's a subtle plan—a strategy for navigating the next layer of emotions—contributing to the power of each piece.

I've been dropping tiny 4" x 4" glimpses of this painting for the last 2 years, but it's finally time to unveil the whole story behind it.

This one took its sweet time, not just because it's a big canvas at 30" x 40", but because it soaked up a profound amount of emotion which seems to have woven itself into the very fibers of the canvas.

The journey began after a great mushroom foraging day with my friend Karen. When I got back home, my original plan was simple—to paint the mushrooms we stumbled upon that day.

Little did I know, the forest held more than just fungi; it held an omen and the beginnings of a huge perspective shift.

A month later, I found myself navigating my father's health decline, an aggressive cancer diagnosis, and his eventual passing. Though I didn't have the capacity to sit and paint for long, I'd paint a little here and there when things were quiet. Brushstroke by brushstroke, the painting became less about what I'd seen out in the woods and more about what I felt.

In nature, every mushroom is evidence of an intricate network of connections just below the surface of the soil, where roots link every living and no-longer-living thing. It's a grand cycle, one that I couldn't stop thinking about as I painted this forest floor scene.

When I look at this painting, I see it glowing with life. It's a reminder that existence transforms, much like an artist translating an abstract vision into tangible form, but also like our lives transform over and over again here on Planet Earth.

I titled this piece "The Site of Little Acorn's Resurrection." Perhaps now, two years later, my loved one has already been reborn as an acorn, shell cracked open, inspired roots reaching deep into the soil to connect.

While I'd never pretend to be certain about what the afterlife might hold for each of us, imagining that possibility brings me a whole lot of peace.

This original painting has sold and will be heading to its special home soon. As of yesterday, I now have these beautiful prints on bamboo paper available in my online shop for those who also resonate with this journey but may have missed out on the original.

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