Each year around this time I paint a white dove in honor of International Peace Day which occurs on September 21st. On Monday as Tropical Storm Irma was blowing through Atlanta I decided to paint a new dove.
It was a stressful day for my husband as he was in the last stages of finishing up a big job and couldn’t afford to lose time in a power outage. I have a large studio window upstairs and watched the big trees in the back yard sway back and forth. The winds felt relentless, with big gusts coming through every few hours. In our neighborhood alone around seven or so large trees came down; many of our neighbors lost power. Half of our county lost power, with the children just returning to school yesterday. We were very, very lucky to have kept our power and also the internet service which was equally as important for my husband. It was quite a storm and my heart goes out to all that suffered loss.
I was pondering why the dove is a symbol of peace and thought one reason is the beautiful curves it has, the rounded head and nicely feminine, curved form. I tried to accent that in this painting. I then kept painting curving colors around and through the dove. I starting seeing all the curves that I was painting as the wind that I was hearing. It was a good distraction from our fears of losing power.
I liked the way it turned out. When I look at this dove it makes me think of these powerful natural events that touch us and in some ways bring our humanity out as we come together to help and renew.
Little Owl is my new painting of a small owl sitting on a branch in a forest just prior to dusk. In late May, my good friend was in town for a visit and to see my art show. After dinner we took a walk through the neighborhood as the sun was setting. I happened to glance over at a dogwood tree in a wooded front yard where I noticed a large barn owl only about eight feet from us on a low branch. We stopped to watch him as he stared at us silently with his large eyes never moving. He was striking and must have been waiting for darkness to set in before hunting.
In recent years, owls have been a big decor item and I had been resisting painting them. Since seeing this owl and also recently hearing an owl’s hoot in the late night I decided it was time to paint one. I looked up what it could mean when you see an owl and read that there could be a mystery afoot or some kind of transition coming up. Owls also represent wisdom and intelligence.
My daughter leaves to study in Prague for the semester in just two weeks. She’ll be taking a photography class along with a couple of language and core classes. Her passport and visa finally came in the mail today, her new film camera for the class arrived yesterday so she is just about ready. Her twentieth birthday is a few days before she leaves. She’s got a lot to look forward to, we’re excited for her upcoming adventure. I plan to paint all weekend, don’t have a subject picked out yet. Enjoy your weekend!
I was feeling happy and upbeat last week and felt liking painting a bluebird. I painted one a few years ago that was loosely based on a vintage post card. We have bluebirds in our neighborhood and I love watching them soar about on my walks. The bluebird symbolizes joy.
Here in Atlanta like much of the country we are already having mild spring-like weather, birds are chirping and beginning to pair up and flowers are blooming. I even mowed our lawn last Wednesday. A Facebook friend of mine posted a picture which said “What a lovely spring we are having this winter,” which brought smile to my face but at the same time I wondered what kind of summer we are going to have in Hotlanta. Regardless, it’s hard not to be happy with this wonderful spring-like weather.
In Bluebird in Flight the joyful bird is flying over the meadow with the sun shining above. I so enjoyed painting it, layering the various colors on and seeing what came about. I hope that joy is reflected in the painting.
A few months ago I learned that a flock of crows is called a murder. That captured my attention and I decided that at some point I would paint a murder of crows. I love crows and have painted many through the years. Whenever I’m out and about and spot a crow I get the feeling that they have spotted me also and are closely watching. Maybe for that reason they seem intelligent, social, and somewhat mysterious to me. After last week’s tighter still life painting I felt like doing something looser, a perfect time for this painting.
In A Murder of Crows I wanted to show a lot of movement and layers of colors through the sky and tree branches as if the crows were flying in in out of different dimensions. I tend to wonder if they can see colors and dimensions that we are not aware of yet. Scientist say dragonflies and cats can perceive more than humans and they are now learning that trees communicate to each other through their roots. It’s all very intriguing to think about the miracle and wonder of our natural world.
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.
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.
Woman with Dove and Lilies is my most recent painting. I’ve worked on it off and on throughout this rainy week. It’s pouring now as I write. Next week they say the sun will be coming back, I think everyone here in Atlanta is more than ready for that. I’ll put this print up in my Circles Round the Sun Etsy Shop under my portrait section. I’m off now to start a new painting, hope all are enjoying the weekend!
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!