Namaste: I Bow To The Holiness In You That Is Also In Me


Detroit, United States

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Wall Art

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Artist's Description

Watercolor, one sitting
Cotman Watercolors
120 Watercolor Paper

The cropped edit of this painting won a SoJie award! I’m excited!!!! :)


This is a translation of Annie Lemay’s beautiful portrait “Strike a Pose.” She very kindly allowed me to translate it for Solo Exhibition’s “The Portrait” workshop, which I also had the pleasure of co-monitoring!

Strike a Pose
by Annie Lemay Photography

The tattoos on the model’s arms inspired the title. The “aayubowan” symbol means “Namaste,” which has a variety of translations. My favorite is the title of the piece. Traditionally, one would place their hands together, fingers pointed to chin, and bow their head, saying, “Namaste.” I image the woman in the portrait is about to lean forward in deep reverence.

She also had a lotus flower, which has different meanings depending on the culture. Generally, though, the flower is considered a symbol of rebirth, emergence, coming into light, enlightenment, and faithfulness.

I wanted to give the model a classic “vintage” feel once I started working on the hair; before that, I imagined her being completely tough. ;) Thus the gauge. So, while in-progress, I decided this woman is deeply spiritual, open-minded, and experimental, with a fascination of old films. ;) I emerged through this as much as the original model: here is a bit of spirituality, a bit of Lisbeth Salander-style tough-girlness, and a bit of Audrey Hepburn girliness. Well, I HOPE that’s what comes through!

Meanwhile, NAMASTE! The God in me embraces the God in you! :)

Artwork Comments

  • Corri Gryting Gutzman
  • lilynoelle
  • Kathie Nichols
  • lilynoelle
  • Tatjana Larina
  • lilynoelle
  • Anouk Westerdijk
  • lilynoelle
  • wormink
  • lilynoelle
  • Annie Lemay  Photography
  • lilynoelle
  • vkatt0304
  • lilynoelle
  • Mary Sedici
  • lilynoelle
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