“I paint flowers so they do not die.” 

This year, socially and politically, has been a frightening one for a lot of people, myself included. Earlier this year, I stumbled across a quote by Frida Kahlo I’d heard many times before, but this time, given the state of things, it suddenly struck me differently. 

 As artists, we are called to preserve the beauty (or sometimes potential for future beauty amid pain) that we see in the world through each of our mediums. Sometimes the need for that is even greater when we see goodness at risk of taking a step back into darkness. This series was a conversation to my inner artist, a reminder to put my art where my heart is. What flowers and truths do you hold dear? Paint them, and don’t ever stop painting them.

While Frida’s quote inspired me greatly, she is not the subject of these images. The model is my friend Jaida, an artist herself, who has struggled alongside me for 1.5 years as we’ve started the hard work of unwinding our sense of worth from our art and slowly removing the deeply ingrained emotional blocks that keep us from creating. I photographed this months ago, and it’s taken me all these months to edit these images and release them. It took a lot to find the momentary courage to overcome my fears of putting art out into the world again. 

But looking at these images, I’m reminded of all the beautiful messages, ideas, and experiences I care so much about. How happy I am when I’m “painting” them. And how much I don’t want them to die.  

Hair & Makeup by: Caitlin Krenz


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