Lush, light, and spacious. As I spend time with Sarah Stewart's paintings, I start to feel as though I'm entering into a different kind of landscape.
Lush like the jungle – plants and flowers proliferating in rich, dank, loamy soil. Wrapping around and intertwining their tendrils. Drenched in humidity, rich color and thick sticky fragrance. I can almost feel the tender desert blossoms and the firm, succulent flesh of the cacti.
Light as in sunlight filtering through the trees, or dancing across water. Also light as in weightlessness. A realm of frequency and vibration, void of the clunkiness of our human material realm. Neon and full spectrum wavelengths. Feeding cells with the stuff of rainbows.
Spacious like outer space, or the space between molecules. There is so much depth to Sarah's work. Greeted with delicious color, line, and pattern, my senses are bathed in perceived perfumes, pollen clouds, flowing fountains, and shimmering ribbons of iridescent mist. Yet something always calls me further into the pieces. There is something calling from the landscape. If I walked into each piece, I could keep going for miles.
This alluring pull into the landscapes of Sarah's work speaks to me that she is channeling a different, but very real, dimension - The Plant Kingdom. A realm that is home to species that feed on light. A world inside our world, but also adjacent to it. Here beings emit scent molecules and gentle wave form frequencies to communicate messages of truth, softness, collaboration, health, and sensuality. Heavier and denser concepts like greed, fear, and stagnance simply can't exist here. Too heavy to catch a ride on pollen puffs and sunbeams, these ideas are relegated to our denser 3D human world.
Both soothing and delicious, Sarah's color choices put my heart at ease. Palettes and pigments that seem to be pulled from flowers themselves - from jungle gardens and desert blooms. Pastels, earth tones, and soft neons. Colors of sage, sand, and open sky. Blues that pull you into them for a cool dip, greens that nourish your mind with chlorophyll. Powder puff pinks and deep fuchsias – colors that leave you feeling fed and ravenous at the same time.
Sarah's line work induces a trance. Repeated lines flowing out of clustered stamen, draw you inside the painting to the epicentre of their focus. The same lines carry you out on a light breeze, past the edges of the canvas, into a world more diverse than we could ever imagine. Line work that carries pollen, and the time-tested pathways of pollinators. Line work that builds stability in symmetry, and echo ancient glyph-like motifs – adding a phrase to the long-winded conversation humans have been having with plants for thousands of years. Patterns of dappled light and cascading water vapor help immerse you in this alternate dimension. All of it bringing calmness to (my) nervous system and encouraging new root systems to branch out through our brain stems and beyond.
Sarah is inspired by the entirety of the natural world. Images of snakes, birds, seahorses and dolphins repeatedly enter her work. Sometimes more glyph-like in representation, the creatures are most often painted in translucent white. They are illuminated from the inside; their bodies shimmer in glowbug opalescence. Their forms contain galaxies of shimmering stars. For me, Sarah is expressing the energetic imprint of the creature. Even the air dwellers, with hollow bones and feather regalia are too dense to fully exist in this realm. The medicine of each of their species transmits as a spectrum of light – bathing the viewers cells in subtle and rhythmic rainbows. The seahorse guiding lightness of being into realms of sensuality and partnership. The snake encouraging more ease around outgrowing our current situations and skins. Each species gently holding space for new ways of being to be felt energetically and then integrated and folded into our lives.
It's the plants that are the focus of Sarah's creative work though. Originally drawn to flower essences as an experiment in healing depletions in both her body and spirit, Sarah noticed a positive effect in her mindset immediately. It became clear to her how powerful their wavelength medicines were. Since that first encounter, her relationship to flower essences has grown and blossomed in its own right. Sarah has become a devoted human voice for the flower nation – a conduit for expressing growth as guidance towards the light. Dedicated to working with these life forms and energetic frequencies, she has cultivated the skills needed to aptly impart the language of each plant she works with.
Currently Sarah is working on a tarot deck of botanical channelings. There will be 78 cards in total, each image carrying the energy and challenges of each of the major and minor arcana, and each are paired with plants that either exhibit similar qualities to the traditional card, or contain a medicinal frequency that can transmute the energy of the challenge in question. Sarah often takes the flower essences during the creation of the pieces. Tuning into their subtle language, she allows their messages to come through as a way to further help the human species. With each new card and painting, she cultivates a relationship with a different flower (sometimes multiple), depending on the needs of the tarot experience. In this way, her art journey has led to her building strong allies with the Plant Kingdom.
Sarah Stewart's commitment to the plant world, and her dedication to further developing her relationships with her plant allies leaves me in awe. I know I can't wait to be able to have one of these plant medicine tarot decks in my world. Thank you for your loyalty to your muses and collaborators, Sarah. It helps us.
To help fund this creation of the rest of this unique tarot deck, become a Patreon of Sarah's work:
To see more of Sarah's work, including the murals she is also well known for, visit her website:
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Images in the order they are posted:
The Hierophant, tarot card, acrylic on wood panel, 2019
Queen of Wands, tarot card, acrylic on wood panel, 2018
Queen of Pentacles, tarot card, acrylic on wood panel, 2020
Four of Pentacles, tarot card, acrylic on wood panel, 2022
Two of Cups, tarot card, acrylic on wood panel, 2022
Knight of Swords, tarot card, acrylic on wood panel, 2020
If you enjoyed this article, and are interested in learning more about flower essences, check out Dr. Edward Bach, the physician and homeopath that developed the system of flower essences in the 1930's:
This work and the writing that supports it is superb!