Phoenix - mockup - hand held frame - of original painting by Julie Karey

A Phoenix is a mythical bird that rises from its own ashes to live again after death. It goes through this cycle again and again. Like many other images, this one symbolizes renewal or rebirth after death–be it literal or symbolic, physical or psychological, perhaps even social. The image in this painting reminds me of this sort of rebirth as it shows new life emerging from that which has passed. The sapling comes through the stump of an old great tree that stands no more.

If you live near forests that have been logged at some point in human history before clear-cutting and tree-planting became the norm, you’ll see this phenomenon everywhere. It is a beautiful reminder of the resilience of life.

The painting was done to help support everyday care for patients battling cancer. It was sold at a charity art auction. 50% of the purchase price went to InspireHealth, which is a wonderful BC charity that provides supplementary care, resources, and support to cancer patients. In this sense, the renewal or rebirth image reminds me of how we need to persistently reinvent ourselves in life, sometimes quite drastically when a major “death” is required for us to renew ourselves. When chemo kills much of our bodies to extinguish cancer, or when suffering from other kinds of illness (myself CFS), we must completely change our way of living, letting go of our previous lives and reinventing our future selves in the new conditions life has handed us.

So this painting has special meaning for me and others, and I would like to continue to share its hope and inspiration with others by offering it in PRINT form. It is now available in the Art Shop to download and print. It’s an easy and low-cost way to enjoy this painting in your own home or workplace. See it in the shop.

To read more about the story behind this and its partner, the Yoga Mat Meditation, I have a longer post that goes into more detail. Read more.

I also speak about this painting in relationship to why I paint in general. Read more.


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