I felt drawn to paint a lotus this week because of it’s meaning. The lotus flower symbolizes rising from a dark space into a place of beauty and rebirth. Lotus flowers grow out of muddy and murky water and produce beautiful blossoms. They are a symbol of strength among adversity. It’s been a couple of tough weeks for me emotionally but I’m starting to feel better. The lotus reminds me that sometimes when we go through a dark period something beautiful can come about in time.
Pink Lotus Flower is my fourth lotus painting and with this one I wanted to emphasis the flower coming up from the dark with the the light shining from above. I am pleased with it, I like the contrast of the lights and darks. I tried to capture the way the lotus seems to glow in the sunlight. My hope is that all will feel more uplifted as we enter the December holiday season.
In the last few months I have been sorting through my father’s coin collection. Most of the coins are from the United States, including several early American ones. What struck me is that the early coins all have the image of Lady Liberty on them. One of the earliest from the 1700’s is named the Flowing Hair Liberty. There is another later coin where she is walking with the sun rising behind her. These Liberty coins are all very beautiful to me. Lady Liberty symbolized the freedom from tyranny – a nation free from cruel and oppressive government rulers. Her image stopped appearing on coins starting in the 1930’s as presidents and other male figures took her place.
With the shock that went through the world last week as it dawned on all that Trump had won the United States presidential election, it got me thinking about Lady Liberty. My ancestors fought for freedom in the Revolutionary war and I don’t know what they would think about our current time period. I feel we need a new revolution, one where we unite and heal our differences and work toward a future where all can thrive, including the beautiful planet that we live on.
Flowing Hair Liberty is the result of these feelings I have.
Harvest Maiden is a new painting of mine celebrating the beauty and bounty of fall. Here in Atlanta, the days have been unseasonably warm and sunny unlike last year when the wind and rain quickly took the leaves away; this year we are witnessing the beauty of fall as the colors slowly unfold. In the late afternoon when I look out my studio window to the backyard wooded hillside, the vivid leaf colors against the blue sky with the sunlight streaming through are breathtaking. The view inspired me to do this painting.
It feels good to be back to painting. I had been spending time matting and framing prints for the Flying Biscuit Cafe at their new location in John’s Creek. I also took a marketing class for artists which was helpful. I’ve never been business oriented but at this point it is an important skill I need to develop . The class was interesting, informative and fun; I realized that marketing takes creative thinking which is helping me to see it in a more positive light.
I also have a new friend that I met at an art fair I was in who has tons of experience in corporate creative marketing. She is helping me get more directed and focused. Focus is something that has not come easy for me, I tend to get scattered in a lot of directions. My husband and daughter are both focused and directed. I can see it serves them well and they both inspire me so. I plan to both paint and keep up with marketing, it will take time but I’m trusting the process and feel it will pay off.
Jungle Elephant is a new painting in my jungle animal series for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy shop. He is a royal white elephant walking up through the bamboo forest in Northern Thailand. The white elephant is considered sacred and a symbol for royal power there.
Years ago when my husband and I were hiking in Northern Thailand we kept noticing large round holes on the trail, after a while it dawned on us these holes were elephant tracks. The sun filtered lush bamboo forests are lovely and it was quite an adventure even though we never saw the elephants. I put in a full moon in this painting, as a fun memory of an experience we had in Chaing Mai. One evening we were eating at an outdoor cafe when I looked up and noticed the full moon that was being eclipsed, a large shadow was crossing it. I tried to motion to our server to let her know and she smiled and said “moon” probably thinking that I was pointing out the full moon, not realizing that a lunar eclipse was happening. The area was filled with people eating and strolling and it seemed we were the only ones aware of the eclipse. It was such a magical evening.
I painted this royal white elephant for my sister who has a collection of white elephants. She was the one that inspired us to travel to Southeast Asia. She had traveled through Thailand after her stint with the Peace Corps in the Solomon Islands. I’m so glad she gave us the idea. The year we spent traveling was such an enriching experience. It helped me view life and art in a more holistic way. Thanks Melissa!
Mom and Baby Beluga Whale is a new painting for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy Shop. I wanted to do a new sea life painting with a mom and baby. It’s been fun to paint the two whales and figure out how to bring in the light through the water.
I was the girl scout leader for my girl’s troop through her fifth grade, our big end of the year event was a sleep over at the Atlanta Aquarium which had recently opened. The girls were thrilled. We got the “behind the scenes” tour and to do lots of fun activities through the night. My favorite spot was by the window with a view into the large Beluga Whale tank. There were two whales that would swim by and look at us. They are graceful and seemed very gentle and curious about our kids. Later in the night we set up our sleeping bags in the river otter section which was something, they came alive at night calling each other and diving in and out of the water. It was great fun to watch, though we didn’t get any sleep.
In this painting the Beluga Whales are free and not in captivity. Recently the Georgia Aquarium has decided to no longer will take whales or dolphins caught in the wild, they need to be with larger family groups and able to swim free. Times are changing as we become more aware.
Crow in the Moonlight is my new painting which I began early in the week and finished up on Friday. I had felt like doing a moodier dark painting after the recent light and airy sunlit mermaids I’d done. The last few days have been very sad and disturbing here in the States and I’ve been glad to have the distraction of painting. It seems to me that the powers that be like to keep us divided. We’re on in this together, my heart goes out to all who are suffering.
I’ve painted many a crow and thought it would be fun to do a moonlit scene to add to my collection. I enjoyed every moment of painting this, it’s great to be back painting again.
Here is my new painting, Floating Mermaid. It’s feels good to be back to painting as I have had a long break. In early May, I took a road trip with my twin sister up to New York City. We met up with my two other sisters in New Jersey at my aunt’s home and had such a great reunion, also enjoying visiting with cousins and my aunt. It had been over ten years since we had all been together. We then took the train into Manhattan and got to spend time with my daughter who was finishing up her freshman year at NYU. She loves being in the city and it was reassuring to see how she was thriving.
Once she came home for summer break, an opportunity opened up for her to spend five weeks in China teaching English and visiting with Chinese friends she had made at school. It was all very sudden and with me helping her get ready for her adventure and having her home I found it challenging to focus on my art.
She’s been in China a week now and is enjoying herself and I am back to painting. This floating mermaid is the result. In life there are times we have to let go, relax and trust. As a mom, I was nervous about my 18 year old girl traveling on her own half way around the world. At this point, part of my journey as a mom is to let go and trust my child’s own path in life. In this painting I wanted to show a mermaid relaxing in the water as the sun shines on her with the white dove of peace soaring above her, knowing all is well.
I hope all are enjoying summer, whether you are home relaxing or off on exciting adventures!
A Pear of Goldfishes is my new still life painting. I decided to bring several elements together, starting with the pear in the small white bowl and the philodendron in the deep red pot. It became unbalanced so I decided to add a gold fish bowl and then topped it off with a Caroline wren in the window.
It was a fun challenge to get everything to work together and I I learned more in the process. I love the little Caroline wrens that hop about in our wooded backyard with their tail feathers usually pointing up. I’d been wanting to paint one for a while. Another challenge was coming up with a name for the painting. The helpful woman who scanned the painting for me suggested the name which I chose because it was so creative and fun.
It’s a beautiful yet cool and windy spring Friday. I hope everyone has a great weekend.
One of my goals for the new year was to begin a daily practice of making art. I’ve started sketching more and I try to have a painting on my easel most of the time. Here is a still life I recently completed, Lemons.
When I first started painting years ago, I painted several pears in this blue bowl. It’s helpful to start a painting from a real scene, you can focus on what you see, how the light effects the colors of the objects. I felt it would be a good exercise to do some still lifes where I could actually see what I am painting.
I chose lemons this time around as lemons are one of my favorite fruits. I use them daily to make marinaded salads and add them to tea. Their bight cheerful yellow color seems to match this time of year when everything is waking up.
It was a fun challenge and I am fairly pleased. In keeping with my goal, I’ve stared sketching a scene for a new painting, another still life.