In Egyptian art, many royal representatives were depicted holding sacred lotuses, members of the water lily family, and the gods were also associated with water lilies. In Buddhism, the lotus is an important symbol of enlightenment because it illustrates beauty rising through mud and water to bloom. Because many species tightly furl their blossoms at light, the lotus is also a symbol of opening to the light.
The roots of water lilies are embedded in the mud, well below the water line. The mud keeps the roots moist and provides a source of nutrition, while richly oxygenated water seeps into the roots.
I love the analogy of rising above muddy beginnings and blooming in spite of it all!
The lillies and stems were painted a base color and then finished with colored pencils. The lily pads are exposed patterned paper.