Paintings of Butterflies and Flowers

Medicine Metaphor Paintings


What’s inside medications was a big interest to me last year. With back pain confronting me each day, I think about what I really get out of different medications. One morning while opening a new medication, I noticed the white sterile inside of the box and thought there is definitely no beauty inside. There is no message to see inside a box, while there are warnings plastered all over the outside of the package. 

I started painting simple India ink paintings of the natural world on the back of medicine boxes. I my paintings of butterflies and flowers I am illustrating on the inside what the outside is communicating as a selling/marketing strategy.  Butterflies are used as a Metaphor for freedom and a metamorphosis from pain. I use the unfolded boxes as a canvas. Using India ink colors I have painted a series of delicate flowers and butterflies, and posted them to the inside of the packaging. Flowers and insects look to the natural world to survive. Many people fear that they are faced with the chemically engineered to function. This series of work expresses what you want verses what you get from medication, interior verses the exterior. These works question the natural verses the synthetic. Through physical therapy and adopting a regular stretching and exercise program, I no longer need medication.

The canvas is limited in size and that is the challenge. I replaced the sterile, clean, hard edges of a mass produced object with a nature message. I want to illustrate the beauty and the beast in the unexpected – and ugly – places.  

Smokers Regret Series


The majority of smokers regret ever starting to smoke, yet the vast majority continues to smoke despite the fact that smoking kills nearly 50% of lifetime users.

Smokers use cigarettes for many reasons, but many report that they smoke to relieve anxiety, despite the health danger of cigarette smoking. Many people smoke in order to cope with life, but studies have shown that smoking actually increases anxiety it simply does so after the cigarette's effects have worn off. Many people who smoke do so because they believe it calms them down. The stress relief you get from smoking comes from the act of taking time out to smoke a cigarette and from the short term chemical actions of nicotine in your brain. 

Smokers often regret ever picking up this potentially deadly habit, and most smokers desire to quit. Quit attempts are common, with almost half of smokers indicating they made a quit attempt in the past year, although only 6% of those who try to quit succeed.

In my art I am trying to express smokers regret of ever starting smoking. Cigarette packages are emptied, flattened and embellished with acrylic paints in a pop art style.

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Albert Rhea Fine Arts

811No. Beadle St., Papillion, NE 68046, us

(402) 331-0985