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.
There Goes My Shadowis a painting I blogged about a year and a half ago that I recently reworked. Last month as I began the recent painting Moonlit Dove and Sunlit Crow, I took a look at this older painting because of the similar theme of dealing with the shadow. I realized then that the painting looked weak.
I have added more color and contrast to to help pop out the fall colors and I also reworked the girl’s face. My painting teacher used to have us do an exercise of painting in a darkened room since it would naturally force us to use more contrast with the lights and darks. It was a helpful lesson and it came to mind as I looked back that this painting. I think it works better now.
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.
Lately with the US Presidential election season heating up, I’ve been thinking about the collective shadow. Psychologist Carl Jung termed the shadow as the unowned negative parts of ourselves that we tend to project on others. Here are a few quotes on the shadow:
Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with darkness in other people. – Carl Jung
Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. – Carl Jung
Both light and shadow are the dance of love.- Rumi
These past few weeks I’ve been trying to look at my own shadow. It has been painful but I’m feeling stronger now, more centered. I wanted to do a painting about the shadow and the light that comes from releasing our fears. There Goes My Shadow is the result.
Gray Squirrel Among the Autumn Leaves is my newest painting. Here in Atlanta the fall has been pretty pathetic with the endless rain taking many beautiful leaves down too soon. We’ve had a few sunny days but this fall has not been as vivid as usual. During the rainy days I felt like painting an autumn scene with brightly colored foliage to brighten my spirits.
When I worked as a park ranger in Brooklyn and led tours with the inner city school children, if we spotted a squirrel they would squeal in delight. In the South with all our trees we tend to take our squirrels for granted, in fact my dad used a bb gun to shoot at them if one got near his bird feeder.
Squirrels are pretty amazing when you think about it. They are beautiful creatures with their bushy tails, sleek build and so agile as they scamper through the trees. They are also helpful to nature with all their gathering of nuts, some of which turn into trees. I’m pleased with my squirrel and hope you like it too.
Crow Visits a Girl in the Gardenis my most recent painting. After painting the Girl and Wolf, where the girl’s face was so small, I felt the urge to paint a larger portrait. The crows are back in our neck of the woods so they’ve been on my mind. I thought it would be interesting to place a crow with the girl in a garden scene. I’m fairly pleased, it was a fun challenge.
It is quite chilly this morning and the leaves are just starting to turn, feels like fall now. The sky is bright and it will be warming up shortly, It’s great to have such a beautiful weekend after the past few dreary, rainy ones. I plan to go visit a local art festival this afternoon. Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!
Autumn Buddha is my most recent painting. A friend lent me her Buddha statue that she inherited from her mother-in-law, along with the her prayer beads which drape his shoulders. I like the soft and peaceful look of this Buddha statue. This is the second painting I’ve made of the statue.
Here in Georgia the fall colors are just getting started but I have been seeing many gorgeous images of fall scenes from Aquamosh’s Blog, a photography blogger that I follow. The rich warm colors of the fall images are just breathtaking. In this new painting I decided to play with those rich colors for the Buddha’s background.
I’ve done several Buddha paintings most of which I used a carved wooden Buddha statue from Thailand as the model. We bought the statue because it reminded us of our Southeast Asia travels. We visited many ancient temple ruins in park like settings. I loved walking among the massive stone Buddhas sitting peacefully in the landscape. I’ve tried to portray the serenity I felt there in my Buddha paintings. Prints of all my Buddhas are available in my Circles Round the Sun Etsy Shop.
Today, October 1st is my dad’s birthday, so he’s on my mind. Whenever I paint a crow I think of him. I’ve been pondering why this is so.
He grew up in Charlottesville Virginia went to the University there. Edger Allen Poe had gone there briefly years before and he was one of my dad’s favorite poets. Dad would recite the Raven especially this time of year as the days shorten and head to Halloween.
My dad had a real love of nature, and he passed that love on to his four girls. Most weekends we drove out to the Alabama countryside. We spent our afternoons running around picking blackberries, playing in the hay, swimming in the pond and creeks. We would spy on beavers and shy away from rattle snakes. There he taught us to ride a horse, fish and shoot a shotgun. He loved bird hunting. He never took us hunting but we plucked many a quail.
I loved this time of year out in the Southern countryside.. The beauty of the dried grasses, cornstalks and few remaining cotton balls along side the rustic barbwire fence against the backdrop of the blue sky with crows flying about. Years later I realize what a gift the my dad gave us. That experience over time got into our bones. That is why I paint birds and other natural creatures. So thank you Dad!