Bittersweet Nightshade Watercolor Sketch

20160807_bittersweet_nighshade

I found this beautiful weed climbing on a friend’s fence. Beautiful but rather toxic. While not as poisonous as its cousin, Deadly Nightshade, Bittersweet Nightshade should not be consumed.

On this particular vine, the berries were in every stage of color. The berries start green and are most toxic during this state. Next, the berries ripen into an orange color, until they reach their final deep red color.

But what attracts me the most are those purple and yellow flowers….the pre-berry stage. And so it did as a child, attracted me to them. It’s a fond childhood memory of mine, finding these tiny flowers pop all over chain link fences.

In Thessalonians we are reminded to be thankful in all circumstances.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Being that this is a weed, but so beautiful, I can be thankful for weeds. On that thought, what about the things in life that we can’t see a silver lining for? Can we still be thankful then? For example, when you are without something you need or when someone back stabs you…can you still find a reason to be thankful?
Oh, now that’s difficult!Β  But that’s what we are lovingly instructed to do. Why?

I found myself upset about a personal situation. I thought about it for many hours, how I was unjustly wronged. But in this moment, I had two choices…..

  1. Dwell on it and be upset, causing me to be in a negative mood and affect other areas in my life.
  2. Be thankful for something, ANYTHING in that situation and meditate on positive thoughts.

In reading the New Testament, I am reminded of Christ’s example. While hanging on the Cross he said, “Father, please forgive them, they know not what they do.

How’s that for finding the positive?

While I can’t come close to living like Christ, I can try to follow in His direction. And how good it feels to be set free like that! Even if it doesn’t seem like it…these bizarre life hacks (to find the positive in all situations) are for our own wellness. To give us life and hope.

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13 responses to “Bittersweet Nightshade Watercolor Sketch

  1. Thank you for your thoughts and the information on the nightshade plant. I enjoyed them both.

  2. The pictures are precise, and meticulous – I wish I could draw thar precisely. An d the informartion fascinating … but iI found the sentiment underscoring both more moving still. Thank you.

    • Gene – I finally got your book from Amazon and absolutely loved it!!!! I hope when I next see you, you will autograph it for me. The poetry and artwork were moving and inspirational. Thank you for writing this meaningful book!

    • Thank you Gene! I can’t wait to see your book….how exciting! I hope you’re writing more books πŸ˜€

  3. You have captured the angular symmetry I love about this plant!

  4. Your post reminded me of the poem “Anyway” as I am having a situation where I feel wronged and want so much to retaliate with judgment and condemnation. Then I have to ask myself, how secure am I that I feel like I have to defend myself? Thanks for the jolt – your art and posts do bring me back to the person I want to be – an artist and a person who feels loved by God – nothing else really matters to me. I just keep forgetting that.
    ANYWAY
    People are often unreasonable,
    illogical and self-centered;
    Forgive them anyway.

    If you are kind,
    People may accuse you
    of selfish, ulterior motives;
    Be Kind anyway.

    If you are successful,
    you will win some false friends and
    some true enemies;
    Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank,
    people may cheat you;
    Be honest and frank anyway.

    What you spend years building,
    someone could destroy overnight;
    Build anyway

    If you find serenity and happiness,
    they may be jealous;
    Be happy anyway.

    The good you do today,
    people will often forget tomorrow;
    Do good anyway.

    Give the world the best you have,
    and it may never be enough;
    Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

    You see, in the final analysis.
    it is between you and God;
    It is never between you and them anyway.

  5. Love it!

  6. You just changed my thought process. .the words you sent are so inspirational. Thank you, pam

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