Orbs in Space is a new abstract painting that I completed yesterday. It’s quite vivid, I used my favorite rainbow colors. A few months ago, I did a painting of orbs floating among trees and was looking at it which led me to the idea to play with painting orbs again. I started by painting a spiral of spheres across the page and then continued with waves and particles. I recently saw a image of the most magnified human cell ever taken this week and it was amazing. It looked like an intricate abstract painting. I find the idea of space, both inner and outer both having waves and particles being similar in ways so interesting.
My daughter wanted me to decorate for Christmas early this year so I’ve been decorating and listening to Christmas music. It is helping to lift our spirits during this strange isolating holiday season. We usually have a holiday artist open house in the beginning of December and later a holiday eggnog party with friends but not this year. 2020 has been a year like no other. I’m hoping 2021 will be better for us all.
Galaxies is my latest painting, a new abstract. I’m back to playing around with abstraction, this painting has a lot of overlaying of paint. I started with four equal circles and a loop and kept going with symmetry, but it just was not working, and I almost gave up. At that point I just began adding more colors and shapes moving away from the symmetrical look and it started to look better. I like the movement and the fact I didn’t give up.
The idea for the name of my painting came from a fascinating article I read this week on two researchers who have found that the complex web of neurons in our brain look strangely similar to the cosmic network of galaxies. One fact that stood out to me was that there are at least 100 billion galaxies that connect in a web within our universe. It’s hard to even imagine that. Here is the link to the article: NEURON WEB IN HUMAN BRAIN IS SIMILAR TO THE NETWORK OF GALAXIES IN THE UNIVERSE
It’s a beautiful weekend here, I hope everyone enjoys the upcoming Thanksgiving week even if most of us are not able to be with extended family.
Here is my new painting, Dolphin Pod. During these last two weeks I kept seeing posts about the choice between two America’s on social media and that bothered me. I don’t agree and feel the powers at be like to keep us thinking that way. When the results of the election started coming in, it became clear that while yes, we are very much divided, our democracy seems to be holding up as the votes keep coming in. Intuitively, I know that we are all in this together and eventually we will muddle through this division to unite to form a more perfect union.
This thinking led me to the idea of painting a dolphin pod. I love dolphins and have painted them several times. My first dolphin painting done many years ago was a watercolor, one of those effortless paintings that just flowed onto the page. I loved it, it was a night scene with four dolphins that I saw as symbolizing my three sisters and me. Now it hangs in my twin sister’s living room. This week I decided to paint a group of dolphins in my abstract style. They happily live together in pods and I hope that we humans will get there eventually.
Little Red Hen is my new painting. Years ago, when I made papier mache bowls, one of my most popular motifs was my chicken bowl. Since then, however, I had not felt like doing a chicken painting until now. A few of my Facebook friends have chickens in their yards, and I’ve enjoyed seeing their fun and sometimes humorous photos of their hens and chicks. So, with my new idea of painting images of folk tales, The Little Red Hen came to mind.
I remember the story from childhood and when my daughter was a preschooler, we had puppets illustrating the story. I loved the story of the little hen working diligently over time even though none of her friends are willing to help her and finally she has the yummy baked bread. I made the painting childlike using lots of bright colors, it was somewhat challenging I wanted it to be more abstract then it turned out.
I feel that this year I’ve been a bit like the little red hen, working diligently doing a painting each week and then writing about it here on the blog. I’m also stepping up on the marketing with sharing it on my Twitter feed and my Facebook pages and finally sharing on a new Instagram account. This work is paying off, I’ve been able to push myself in new ways with my painting and am hoping that will eventually bring some extra income in.
Hare on an Egg is my new painting this week. My husband thought of the name, which helped me out as sometimes the hardest part is naming these paintings. I chose a a hare because the Swimming Turtle painting I did a few weeks ago brought to mind the Tortoise and the Hare story. I like the way that he looks a bit mischievous. In the beginning I had him on a winding path but eventually decided to have him balancing on an egg. This painting was a lot of fun to create and I’m about to start on a new one today.
I have recently opened an Instagram account. For years I’ve been hearing that as an artist, Instagram is the best place to be. I use my desktop for most of my social media and don’t feel too comfortable with my cell phone. My daughter helped me get it set up, she’s been there for years with her photography. I’m still learning my way around and finding it fun. My account name is Heni’s.Happy.Paintings Check it out!
Woman with Red Winged Blackbird is my new painting of the week. It’s actually a redo of a painting I did in 2015. While painting my mom in the canoe a few weeks ago, I realized that over time, I’ve gotten a little better at faces; so, I pulled out this older painting and ended up redoing most of it. I feel like her face works a bit better. I then decided to change the crow and make him a red winged blackbird. I took a bit of artistic license as you don’t usually see them at birdbaths. Their habitat is in fields close to water. I used to see them all the time when I was a park ranger leading tours on trails through the marshes.
I’ve admired the works of the Pre-Raphaelite painters of Victorian England who rebelled from the style at the time by painting women with long flowing hair using rich, vivid colors in natural settings. I remember seeing some of their paintings at the Tate Gallery in London back in my early 20’s and being moved by the large size and richness of colors. This painting is a nod to that style.
The last painting of the crow and dove reminded me of the time, as a park ranger, I led a program where I told stories of animal myths from different cultures. While researching for that program I had seen many wonderful animal illustrations in children’s books and decided it would be fun to do an animal series in my abstract style. Swimming Turtle is my first attempt, it’s actually my fourth turtle painting.
Last weekend when a certain politician in the news was compared to a turtle on my twitter feed, my reaction was that was a grave injustice to turtles everywhere. I love turtles and feel fortunate when I spot one in nature. In Native American lore the earth was called “turtle island,” from a tale that the turtle carried the earth on it’s back. In this painting I have the turtle swimming through space.
Balance is a new painting. Last week while painting the dove in an abstract setting; I got the inspiration to continue mixing my abstract style with images. The International Day of Peace is always on September 21st which is on or a day away from the Fall Equinox. I wondered if the reason for this is that we need balance to be peaceful. I am trying to stay as balanced as I can during these crazy times.
To welcome the Fall equinox where night and day are equal, I thought it would be fun to paint a yin yang symbol using a crow and dove. This is my fourth painting of a crow and dove together, in fact the last one I painted, Sooner than Later was in early April, soon after the Covid-19 pandemic began. I wrote in that post; ” I view doves as a symbol of peace and crows as a symbol of magic and transformation.”
It was challenging to get the birds to look right around a circle. I like the whimsical way it turned out and am going to do a series of animal paintings in this style. My hope is that as this season moves forward, we all can maintain some sense of balance and vision of peace for our future.
Monday, September 21st is the International Day of Peace. I’ve painted a white dove of peace to honor the day for seven years now. Soaring Dove of Peace is this year’s painting, my first dove on the larger paper. With the extra space I decided to play with my new abstract style. I like the way it almost looks like stained glass
International Day of Peace is observed by people all over the world to encourage peace within and among nations. This year is the 75th year anniversary and the is theme “Shaping Peace Together.” The UN invited millions of people throughout the world to join in a global conversation on building a peaceful and prosperous future which has become even more important with the global pandemic. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. There are activities going on all weekend leading up to Monday.
I’ve been challenging myself to do a weekly painting and this week decided to do a portrait of my Mom. Mom at the Point is inspired from a photo taken by my boyfriend at the time during our family vacation at St. Simon’s Island years ago. I’ve always loved this photo because it captured a side of my Mom that I loved. She took pride in her skill at canoeing which she had learned as a Campfire girl. She had been a tomboy growing up and it showed whenever we were out in nature.
In this picture she was about the age I am now, she let her hair turn grey; she was never vain or overly obsessed with her looks. In that way she was a good role model for her daughters. Mom grew up in Staten Island, New York and compared to my friends’ moms, she didn’t have a lot of the fears or dependence that the southern women of her class had at that time. As an adult looking back at her example, I see that she helped me have a spirit of adventure when I traveled with a similar faith that she had.
In the painting above, Mom has a crab net and is canoeing over to the Point which was a spot where we went to crab at low tide. When I painted this crab below I wrote about our yearly summer beach trip where we had such fun crabbing, clamming and fishing. Here is there is the link to the earlier post: Into the Sea