“Hope from Holly’s Garden” meets Beau Lou Designs
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“Hope from Holly’s Garden” meets Beau Lou Designs

Greetings Friends!

Much of my work thus far as an artist in paint, poetry, and voice has revolved around the idea of seasons. Staff & Palette is delighted to be entering a new one on the North Shore of the greater Chicago area in Illinois after a magnificent journey through Charleston, S.C. and the mountains of Virginia over the past decade. I am thrilled to see what artistic opportunities await in this vibrant community during this promising season.

I am so excited to share that my original oil painting with accompanying poem entitled “Hope from Holly’s Garden” has been been selected by fellow Chicago artist Theresa Daniel of Beau Lou Designs  as inspiration for her own unique design which will grace her one of a kind handmade merchandise including jewelry and home decor.




Upon moving to Chicago with my husband John and our two dogs Ariel and Eli, I became fascinated with Theresa’s work using her own photography of iconic places in Chicago and around the globe as templates for original graphic designs that capture the essence of each place in a truly magical way. I felt a connection to her pieces right away and made several purchases. Wearing her work helped me to immerse myself into my new environment near the shores of Lake Michigan. Soon a friendship blossomed and turned to collaboration when I asked Theresa if she would be interested in working with one of my paintings for a new original graphic design. The poem added even more intrigue to the process for Theresa who was delighted to use her skills with an image of “Hope from Holly’s Garden”. She loved the colors, the value contrast, as well as the special meaning of the place lovingly referred to as “Holly’s Garden”.

You see Holly’s Garden is a memorial garden that has moved with us from our original home in Virginia to Charleston back to Virginia and on to Chicago. It is comprised of plantings in memory of each of our beloved family dogs beginning with our beautiful Holly, who the garden is named after, and including our Angels: Scout, Tilley, Zachias, and Khori. It’s a reminder that no matter where we go in life we bring with us what is most dear, and chief among these are the thoughts and memories of our loved ones.

This painting depicts uncultivated sunflower blooms on an early Autumn day in Holly’s Garden, the Virginia location, resulting from birds at the feeder nearby “planting” seeds into the fertile soil. They came up through the exuberant process of feathered friends enjoying a good meal and without the work of human hands making them all the more lovely and special. Perhaps they were even a message from loved ones on the other side that despite any painful challenges faced…all will be well. These miraculous flora occurred shortly before the attack on Ukraine in 2022, and sunflowers became an important symbol of hope for peace in that region and around the world. All of these ideas…the grief over lost loved ones…the tender devotion to their memories…the anguish over war that continues even today…the courage to choose hope regardless of circumstance…the belief that beauty can and often does spring even from pain and loss…found expression in my painting “Hope from Holly’s Garden”.

With my blessing, Theresa used the imagery to create her own original design based on “Hope from Holly’s Garden”. Because of the themes of loss especially palpable in the poetry, in her process she chose to move from a more formal initial design with structured golds and greens to one that also honored the juxtaposition of darkness and light observed in the painting. “I think the combination of the painting and poem really helped me to make it a more complete and symbolic design,” says Theresa, who has used her art to cope with her own grief. “I’ve had a great deal of loss in my life and really have tried to focus on the joy of the memories despite the grief that can be overwhelming,” she remarks while taking note of my artistic efforts to convey light bursting forth from darkness in both the painting and poetic language.

Select merchandise with the new design inspired by “Hope from Holly’s Garden” is available for purchase on her website Beau Lou Designs and will soon be in markets and stores throughout the Chicago area as well. I could not be more excited to see my work sparking the creative genius of another artist whose vision I respect so greatly. We look forward to numerous collaborations going forward where our endeavors inspire one another to produce powerful artistic expressions with our combined talents.

“Hope from Holly’s Garden” has been internationally published in a juried periodical, Artistonish Magazine – May Issue 2022

It was also on exhibit in my solo multimedia show entitled “Seasons: From Sea to Summit” at The Floyd Center for the Arts in June and July of 2022.

It currently resides in the center of downtown Chicago at The Chicago School.

The original oil as well as giclee prints are available for purchase from Staff & Palette. Please contact me at [email protected] for more details.

Stay tuned for what is next on the docket for Staff & Palette as we settle into the Chicago art scene. For now please enjoy an image of my painting with accompanying poetry “Hope from Holly’s Garden” featured above along with Theresa’s brilliant graphic design with some of her products inspired by my work.

As always thank you for following my artistic journey,

Rina Lucas

Staff & Palette