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.
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
Mirror Fish is my most recent painting. Two fish are swimming together like the Pisces symbol of two fish swimming in opposite directions. My twin sister and I are Pisces; our birthday is coming up later this month. Maybe that’s why I felt like creating a new painting of the two fish to add to the other double fish paintings I’ve done through the years. In this painting I’ve tried to loosen up some and play with lots of vibrant color.
My sister and I are in good places at the moment. We are happy with our lives, our families are doing well and we’re enjoying the empty nest phase. We are identical mirror twins, which means the egg divided after 7 days and so we are mirror images of each other. She is right-handed while I am left-handed.
My sister was visiting last weekend and when we stopped by to pick up coffee at the local Dunkin Donuts, we got attention for looking alike. These days we find getting attention fun. Growing up we never felt comfortable with all the extra attention we received. Both my sister and I always smile to strangers and over the years I’ve realized that we do that because people were always staring at us.
We are still very close and talk to each other 2 or 3 times a week but like the fish above with the different colors and along with every identical twin, we each have a unique personality.
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.
Shining Sea Turtle is a new turtle painting of mine. I had not painted in about a month as my daughter is graduating from high school in a few weeks. She will be going off to New York University in the fall. It was very unexpected as we assumed she would be going to an in state school. She got accepted and received enough funding to make it possible. It’s been an exciting few weeks figuring out the details. We are thrilled and very proud of her. It’s been my girl’s dream to go off to school in New York City and now it’s actually going to happen!
I’ve settled down a bit and it feels good to be back painting. I love doing underwater ocean scenes and I just felt like painting a serene sea turtle. I hope all are having a peaceful happy season.
Here in Atlanta the kids have been back in school for three weeks now. My daughter is in her senior year of high school and will soon begin applying to colleges. With the realization of the expenses that lie ahead, my husband and I are trying to figure out the various financial options of her potential college choices. It’s overwhelming; so, early this week when I received a message on my Heni’s Happy Painting’s Etsy Shop from a woman who loved my Mom and Bay Dolphin print but wanted a single dolphin instead, it was the perfect time to step back from that stress and dive into a new painting.
Dolphin in the Dappled Sunlight is the result. I’ve always loved dolphins, they are so playful. When we were in Hawaii swimming with them, the beauty of the light through the clear blue water reflecting on their bodies was striking. I tried to capture that light and yet make it slightly different from the other painting. I am hoping the woman will be pleased. Enjoy these last days of the season!
I have just completed Pink Seahorse for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy shop. Early this week a woman contacted me through my shop. She liked the style of my other seahorse print listed there but instead of a seahorse family she wanted one pink seahorse. Seahorses are such interesting creatures. Years ago when my daughter was in elementary school I remember taking her to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History where there was an exhibit of seahorses in several tanks. They were so magical with their amazing colors and horse like shapes and the way they skirted through the water. I could have watched them for hours. I decided it would be fun to paint a new one and that it would be a nice addition to my sea life prints which have been popular sellers. I haven’t heard back from the woman yet, I hope she will like it. Regardless, it was fun to paint and I’m pleased.
Here is my most recent painting – Flying Fish. I have painted many a fish and always swimming in the watery depths. I think of fish as being one with the water where they flow and move in tune with the currents. As I child I was very sensitive to the feelings and emotions of others. I can remember my mom telling me over and over that I was too sensitive. It always bothered me when she told me that, but she was right. Through the years I’ve learned to develop more boundaries and separate from others’ emotions. I’ve become less moody and more objective. I wanted to paint a fish who could enjoy flying up in the fresh air with the warm sun.
I worked on this painting for over two weeks, it took a while to come together. I knew I wanted a fish in the sky with the sun but working out the colors and shape of the sun and sky was quite a challenge for me. I’m pleased with the result and feel the fish is happy getting a bit of fresh air before diving down again into the depths.
We’ve just had another long week of ice and snow. I live in the South for a reason, we’ve had quite enough of this cold snowy weather. I feel for the folks in the North, this winter has been brutal. I’ve spent the snowy days dreaming of the warm Caribbean while working on a new fish painting, Red Fish in the Tropics. In this painting I’ve tried to capture the magic one sees while snorkeling along coral reefs. I love the way sound is muted and yet you see movement everywhere. The light bounces through the water and brightens the vivid colors of the fish while the schools of fish swim along in the same direction ready at any moment to dart off on a different course. You usually see one of two larger fish floating along with the current moving a bit slower. I worked many hours on this painting trying to get that feeling, by layering the light to get the sense of movement and adding lots a bright details to the fish and coral. The painting still doesn’t capture it fully but I didn’t want it to be too over worked and am fairly pleased. Let’s hope spring in the Northern hemisphere will come sooner than later. Until then we can dream…
Dolphin Playing with the Sun is another painting I did last summer after our Hawaiian trip. One morning while on our trip we got up very early to rent kayaks at Kealakekua Bay where we paddled over to a spot that had the best snorkeling reef on the Big Island. As we were crossing the bay a large pod of spinner dolphins joined us. They are named spinner dolphins because they love to jump up out of the water and spin. It was quite a thrill to see them do this.
With this painting I wanted to show a dolphin playfully jumping out of the water with the big sun in the background. Lately I have become fascinated with the close up images of our sun with the solar flares dancing up. There is so much movement; it is mesmerizing to watch. Scientists think these solar flares effect our planet with magnetic waves in some way. I tried to paint the sun showing lots energy and radiating movement with the dolphin leaping out of the water happily in tune with this energetic connection.