Wildflowers of hope: Former nurse paints uplifting artwork inspired by nature

Community

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Sometimes hope can be found in the most unexpected places. When Martha Rogers discovered a number of wildflower blooms in her backyard, she felt that it was a hidden message.

“Underneath and in the grass, in the little corners, I found all these little things blooming. And I’m thinking, ‘oh my gosh, life goes on. There’s still life out here,'” she says.

Rogers served as a nurse for 42 years. She understands the physical and emotional strain that healthcare workers have endured during this pandemic.

“I know exactly what they’re going through. How hard it is, and how tough it is day after day. To see all those sick patients,” says Rogers.

She found a love for acrylic painting about five years ago. Since then, she’s created over two-hundred pieces.

“I had all the skills, I just didn’t have the courage to try it,” she says. “Until that day, I thought, ‘I’m gonna do it!’ and now I can’t stop.”

Much of her inspiration comes from elements of nature. During her time in quarantine, she discovered wildflowers had sprung up all over her backyard. She felt in her gut that it was a message.

“It was just so reassuring that life goes on, regardless of what happens in the world. Life continues; and we will too,” she says.

She painted 10 of the wildflowers for a series: “Life and Hope in a Pandemic.” Once finished, she wished that there was a way to share the hopeful message with others.

Rogers planned a socially-distanced art show in her front yard, centered around her massive magnolia tree.

“I called it ‘Art Under the Magnolia.’ I sat on the porch, if people wanted to ask questions or have me show them something I’d wear my mask, and we’d go out and chat. It was just really fun, it really was,” she says.

The art show turned out to be a huge success; she even had a few visitors buy a piece to take home.

“I just wanted to do something nice for the neighbors, because we all need a boost right now. I said, I’d be pretty stupid if I refused if somebody wanted to buy something,” says Rogers.

Neighbors have already began asking about her next show. She hopes to try it again sometime this fall.

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