[ pan-uh-see-uh ] noun: an answer or solution for all problems or difficulties: His economic philosophy is a good one, but he tries to use it as a panacea.

6" x 6"

140# cold-press watercolor paper

acrylic paint, oil pastel, collage, varnish

As soon as I read panacea (one of my favorite words) I thought of this image. I have several collage clippings in my files I’m saving for just the right project, and this was it.

The red background was one I had on hand (prepped leftover paint), and it contrasted well with this image. I drew blurred question marks in the background representing the many questions that might be answered with this particular panacea.

The grass-growing-in-briefcase image has 3 planned representations:

  1. Workaholism. America has a problem with this. Money troubles? Work harder. Career not advancing the way you’d like? Work harder. Things aren’t going well at home? Stay at work longer. It can be subconscious, or it can be semi-intentional avoidance, but neither are healthy.
  2. Healthaholics. The side of me that loves sarcasm, irony or humor in art imagined someone really devoted to plant based living being like “you just need to start taking a wheatgrass shot every morning.” True story: I almost made this painting about chocolate. Because chocolate fixes everything.
  3. Personal Growth. This would be my desired interpretation. The panacea for your problems is introspection. Pay attention to what’s happening, search for the root cause (pun intended), and use it to grow.

Panacea mixed media word painting by Sarah M. Schumacher