Here’s the latest of my paintings for the Wide Bay High Desert show.

pomegranate flower

It’s titled Pomegranate Flower and it’s 8″ x 8″, oil on panel.

The flower is picked from a pomegranate bush in our front yard. It’s been raining a lot this summer and as a result our yard has become very lush. The pomegrante bush is a prime example of rain’s benefits. This is a special plant to me. It was given to me several years ago by my graduate painting students. It was a thoughtful gift. They knew that I often used pomegranates as subject matter in my work. I’m happy that this bush is flourishing, because it has special meaning to me.

pomegrenate bush         Pomegranate Bush

The pomegranate fruit has many symbolic meanings.

In particular the pomegranate plays a significant role in the myth of Persephone. Persephone was carried off to the underworld by Hades. Her mother Demeter was enraged and as revenge prevented Earth’s crops from growing. Zeus intervened and negotiated an arrangement between Demeter and Hades, but unfortunately Persephone had already eaten a seed from a pomegranate, fruit of the underworld. Because of .and during that time no crops would grow on Earth.
Thus the pomegrenate can be  a symbol for the change of seasons.

In many religions the pomegranate is a much used symbol, as in this detail of the painting  Madonna and the Pomegranate by Botticelli.


In general, the pomegrenate symbolizes fertility, abundance, sexuality, and everlasting life among other things. It’s rich red color and lucious interior make it a fitting subject for painting.


Giovanna Garzoni    Pomegranate with Chestnuts

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About jstaubyn

I live in Las Cruces, New Mexico which is 40 miles from the Mexican border. My paintings use natural forms as the subject matter, and although they could be described simply as still lifes, I think of them as being more like visual poems. I was fortunate to teach painting and drawing at New Mexico State University for 25 years. During this time I published a book Drawing Basics which is still in print and in its second edition. This book came directly from my experience in the classroom. Even though the book presents a method for teaching drawing, I consider the primary topic to be a way of thinking. I am now retired from teaching and spent my time in the studio. During the years I taught, I believed that there was a dynamic between teaching and drawing that allowed me to pursue both without compromise. However, now that I can devote all of my creative thoughts to my studio work, I find I am taking an all together different journey.

7 thoughts on “Pomegranate

  1. Wonderful work, Jacklyn. I somehow missed the first post and just went back to it. I liked seeing the Botticelli imagery too. Always nice to see the historic context for what we paint today.

  2. Thanks Virginia and Jean for your comments. Yes, Jean, I think it’s helpful sometimes to see historical precedents.

  3. Stunning. The patterning is so beautiful against the organic. Pomegranates are so exotic to me, and I never knew anything of the symbolism, so thank you Jacklyn, I will always think of you when I see them.

  4. I had somehow missed this post Jacklyn, was very interesting, Pomegranates are beautiful but I’ve never seen their flower.
    And this reminds me of the value of researching acquiring a depth of understanding about what you choose to paint. I can forget this sometimes and it always makes for a richer experience

  5. thanks for your comment Susan. Yes, research enriches, but for me it usually comes after the painting is done. However, I like the fact that my intuition about subject matter is reinforced by outside sources.

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