Nikki with Cherry Blossoms

Nikki with Cherry Blossoms by Wendy Roberts
An alternate angle of view to show the gold leaf effects

At first glance, this painting is meant to be aesthetically beautiful, but I wanted it to work on a symbolic level too.  I have surrounded Nikki with personal symbols. I am addressing her heritage with the inclusion of textile patterns in the background, but I was also thinking of Gustave Klimt’s beautiful use of patterns when I opted to gild them.  Her job as a flight attendant is a big part of her identity as well, thus, for this portrait, she pinned flowers in her hair in the fashion she learned on the job, a subtle clue to her profession.  The cherry blossoms are part of her annual tradition of enjoying cherry blossom season.  She travels to Japan many times every year so they are a dual symbol of her lifestyle of travel and also her Japanese heritage.  Nikki is a caring and devoted mother (symbolized by the 3 calla lilies), and calla lilies are also a symbol of beauty,  describing both her outer beauty and her thoughtful, considerate personality.

Within my choice of plants, I have used and the soft color palette to set a tone of nurturing and calm, It is my hope that the viewer gets a feeling for her personality.  I do not expect anyone to understand every nuance, but they are designed to set a tone.