"The Basis of Life" Surreal Flower Art Print

This surreal art print features a red camellia with legs and hands holding an acorn against a dramatic forest backdrop. A chickadee and luna moth hovers nearby and a ladybug rests on a fern. The rich symbols and vivid tones in this artwork create an evocative mood that will stir your imagination and invite first chakra energy into your home. 

Printed on velvety fine art paper, this beautiful giclée art print preserves the exquisite details of the original painting while adding rich, subtle texture. Pair this print with other mystical artwork to create a gallery wall or transform a special wall with this symbol of earth energy. 

Details: This borderless fine art reproduction is printed with archival inks on premium Hahnemühle fine art paper. This museum-quality paper has a gorgeous, velvety texture and sturdy weight.

Artist:Aimee Schreiber

Symbolism: In La dame aux camellias written by Alexandre Dumas, the character Marguerite wears a red camellia while menstruating, and this primal association with blood—the basis of life— is what I hoped to capture with the color red in this painting. Despite the visual complexity of the scene, this piece hints at something very simple and foundational in exploring our need for nourishment, our perceptions of safety, and our instinct for survival. We are first nourished through our mother’s blood in the womb, and then enter a world where our first ecosystem and community informs our sense of security and view of the world. A forest can be both a safe refuge and a dark, dangerous demonstration of Rudyard Kipling’s law of the jungle, and I wanted to explore this dichotomy through unassuming characters symbolic of protection, self-reliance, and luck.

The defense mechanism of the lucky ladybug is to emit an offensive odor; they also protect crops by eating agricultural pests. The ‘chickadee’ call of the bird that bears its name is an alarm, with the number of ‘dees’ signaling the type of predator present. The luna moth uses distraction and camouflage to elude predators, and a rare sighting of these ephemeral night creatures heralds good fortune. So much of human safety is based on the luck of the draw and the circumstances one is born into— a fact demonstrated by centuries of racially-motivated violence in America, among many other disparities across the globe. This painting was completed with a sense of grief and horror the week that George Floyd was murdered as I examined the relative privilege I was born into as a white, American woman and attempted to understand my own essence and purpose as a creative human consciousness beneath, beyond, and because of these assigned identities.

The winding path of shadows behind the figure is reminiscent of the Kundalini serpent of Hindu mythology, said to reside coiled at the base of the spine in the muladhara chakra, which roughly translates to the root or basis of support, from which I derived the title for the painting. This energy center is associated with the color red, earth element, survival, safety, community, stability, and vitality. Another symbol of life and latent potential, the acorn is offered in the middle of the camellia as an invitation to discover what lies dormant in the dark woods of your being and what potential lies beyond the awakening of this fundamental life force.

The camellia, here personified with actionable legs and hands, was prized by the samurai of Japan as a symbol of grace, love, and the fleeting nature of life. It offers a final contemplation of transcending fear, not only of death, but of life as well.

What will I do with my body while I live? What will you do with yours?

Frame not included. An ornate or simple gold, black, or natural wood frame would look lovely with this art print. Email me with a photo of your space if you'd like frame, size, or pairing recommendations to compliment your existing décor. 

Please note: Colors vary from screen to screen and are represented as accurately as possible. Please allow up to 2 weeks for your artwork to be printed and shipped to you.