My koi pond with pink blooming waterlilies

My koi pond with pink blooming waterlilies

If you’ve been reading my blog for very long at all you know that I have a koi pond. It’s a decent size for the space and has large colorful koi fish and I grow waterlilies in the warm months. While the waterlily is truly beautiful, there is something so mysterious to me about the lotus.

The main reason I don’t grow lotus is simply size. Although I’ve recently learned of dwarf lotus varieties and may give them a try so I’ll have a better reference to paint from. I absolutely adore how the leaves come up out of the water like little parasols.

Let me tell you a little about this exotic and mysterious flower and water plant. I’ll show you work in progress photos while I do.

I primed this 36″x12″ canvas and got to work with brushing on some glowing orangey and pink paint. I like to add a bit of abstract in a lot of my paintings so the drippy paint helped achieve that. I love the drips and you’ll see them in several works.

underpainting for lotus water garden

Sometimes my paintings go through big changes. This started out as pink!

Many cultures consider the lotus flower to be sacred such as Buddhism, Hinduism, ancient Egyptians and more. You would think that they would all carry different meanings, but actually they share similarities.

Here, I’ve decided that I wanted to have a dark Prussian Blue (my favorite blue!) background and leave out a few peeks of the orangey pink for an abstract glowing look.

painting in progress

To Ancient Egyptians, the lotus is known to be associated with rebirth. It is also became to symbolize the Sun and the creation. The lotus flower is also associated with death and is found in the Egyptian Book of the Dead! There, you’ll find spells that are able to transform a person into a lotus, thereby allowing for rebirth. How about that for mystery and mystique!

sketching in the lotus plants, pods and flowers

I’ve sketched in the layout of my lotus leaves, pods and flowers.

In Buddhism, the lotus flower is associated with purity, spiritual awakening and faithfulness. It’s also associated with rebirth because of it growing in the dark, muddy, murky pond floor and producing a pure white flower above the water. Additionally, the daily coming out of the water represents desire which leads to spiritual enlightenment.

Blocking in the lotus leaves and pods

Blocking in the lotus leaves and pods with various shades of green.

In the Hinduism religion the lotus flower meaning is associated with beauty, fertility, prosperity, spirituality, and eternity. Many of the gods and goddesses of Hinduism are linked to the flower. It  represents a wise and spiritually enlightened quality in a person as well as one who does not look for any reward, payment or even acknowledgement for tasks done.

detailing lotus leaves and pods

Adding detailing to some leaves and pods.

Next up, I’ve started adding in the white flower petals. You can kind of see the days go by as I painted this if you’re looking out the windows.

painting white lotus flowers

By the evening, I was finished and decided to title this lovely water garden painting “Sweet Serenity”.

Finished lotus garden painting

So while doing research for the lotus plants I found out that you can grow a standard sized lotus in a large 3 or 4′ round container in a pond. By keeping them in the container you keep the size in check and also it hinders the plant from spreading. I also discovered that they have banana shaped tubers that are very fragile. If you break or injure the tuber containing an eye where the plant sprouts from then you most likely not get your plant to grow properly. I still think for my sized pond I’ll stick with a dwarf.

Lotus plants are voracious feeders during the growing season and then you back off a little as it flowers. They need 3 to 4 weeks of temperatures above 80 degrees to begin blooming. They might not bloom the first summer. One surprising fact I discovered was that they don’t like humidity which is ironic to me considering it’s a water plant! Here in my zone 6b, I’ve seen a house growing them in their large pond. I think I’ll be fine even though my Ohio Valley area is known for it’s sauna like summers.

You can find the original painting here in my shop. I also have prints of it, only the original is so long like a panoramic that I split it up into 3 separate prints. They look lovely in a grouping.

Aren’t these throw pillows fun?!

Full Disclosure: I got a lot of my information on the meaning of the lotus from lotusflowermeaning.net by Dean Ravenscroft. There is a lot of great information on this site. Also, the practical information I got from theponddigger.com.


paintings by Jaime Haney

Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page in the menu at the top. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts.

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