Still Life With Yellow Dahlias and Melancholy by Katie Runde

Home / Salons / 16th ARC Salon

Katie Runde

Still Life With Yellow Dahlias and Melancholy


81.28 x 60.96 cm | 32 x 24 in

Oil on linen

  • Honorable Mention / Still Life

'Still Life with Yellow Dahlias and Melancholy' juxtaposes the depths of darkness, of life slipping away—with the rugged hope of growing things.  I painted 'Dahlias and Melancholy' during the pandemic, not to mention the deepest depression of my life.  I had just moved away from my home of ten years over two mountain passes to live with my fiancée, could not find a new studio, had gone off my increasingly ineffective antidepressants just in time for COVID to begin, and was painting out of the garage like a high school garage band.  Reclaiming the jungle of a garden we'd inherited was one of the only activities I could find to keep my head above water, and just as Vermont turned towards the darkness of fall and the long winter of pandemic isolation ahead, these giant dinnerplate dahlias sprung up from that very garden and demanded a longer look.  I painted the joyous, ebullient flowers through crippling despair, and now, looking back from higher ground, I see the profound hope inherent in showing up for another day, another try; just the sheer insistence upon recognizing beauty at all through what can otherwise feel like hopeless days to anyone suffering in the depths of mental illness.