Moonlit Unicorn is a painting that I started prior to Christmas. Our daughter flew home from NYC on the 18th and brought the flu with her. She got home and went straight to bed for a few days, once she was on the mend, I caught it. Needless to say our Christmas holidays were a bit subdued. We are all feeling better now, she’s out and about with friends and I have finally completed this painting.
I chose to paint a unicorn night scene because I was still thinking about the magical time of the early days of December. Years ago when my twin sister and I were sent to bed, some times our oldest sister would sneak into our room and tell us tales that she made up. I have fond memories of her stories.
When my girl was very young, around two or three at bed time I began making up stories of Grace, a loving white unicorn who would come to visit her. Our first home in Atlanta had a big wooded back yard that sloped down to a creek. It was beautiful. My husband put up a swing set and our girl loved swinging and playing there.
In the stories, Grace would always appear from the woods in our backyard as our girl was swinging. She would take her up on her back and fly her off on adventures. Who knows, maybe that’s one reason why my daughter has such an adventurous spirit.
Rose Goddess is another painting that I began years ago and have just now completed. I had always loved the composition but her face was not right. I had found the image from a photograph of a goddess statue in the Versailles gardens. Her face had always looked too masculine, so that’s what I changed to complete her.
I have heard that my mom’s mother loved roses and had a beautiful rose garden. She died when I was too young to remember her. My parents both admired her and always spoke of what a wonderful and loving woman she had been. No one ever said an unkind word about her. I think of her and her loving qualities and wished I had gotten to know her. She had a pair of rose vases that I feel lucky to have inherited. The fact that my loving grandmother loved roses has stuck with me and gotten me curious about the rose symbolism.
The rose has been associated with goddesses throughout history. In one legend the first roses sprang from the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite’s tears. In later times the rose symbolized the beauty of romantic love. Under Christianity, the rose became the Virgin Mary’s sacred flower, representing the divine feminine love. The accepting feminine loving energy is so special and much needed now.
After last week’s more complex painting, I felt like painting something more whimsical and loose. As I was pondering what to paint, I happened to see a funny cartoon of Wile E. Coyote getting into trouble with the Road Runner and later that evening Joni Mitchel’s Coyote tune came up on my Echo; I love all her music and had not heard that fun song in years. We also have had plenty of coyotes in the hood, I’ve never seen one here but have heard their strange calls in the wee hours of the night.
With the decision made, I looked up the symbolism of the coyote. He is often thought of as a trickster, a joker, and even a shape-shifter, but is also revered in Native American culture as an important messenger of personal transformation, showing endings and new beginnings.
I thought it might be fun to paint a coyote in a fanciful colorful magic-like landscape and Wily Coyote is the result. I’m pleased with the way he is looking at the viewer as if he knows something we don’t.
Next week my husband and I are heading to Seattle for my niece’s wedding. Its definitely a time of a new beginnings for my niece and also for her older sister who is days away from her second child’s birth. We’ll be there for a just under a week with all my sisters and the nieces and nephews. Our daughter will fly in from Japan, luckily her internship ends two days before the wedding date. We’re so looking forward to being with her and hearing all about her experience there. Not sure that I’ll be able to start another painting before we leave but am looking forward to new inspiration of being in Seattle during this exciting time with our extended family.
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.
Here is my new painting, Quan Yin Riding the Dragon; it has taken me a couple of weeks to complete as it was quite complex, integrating all of the elements was a challenge.
Quan Yin is an Eastern Goddess of compassion. Quan Yin carries the Goddess and Divine Mother aspect of Buddhism and is worshiped throughout Asia as an ascended master who is a protector to women and children.
I’ve done many paintings of Buddha but I felt drawn to paint Quan Yin this time around, perhaps because my daughter is away in Japan all summer.
I chose to paint her on a dragon. She is compassionate but also courageous and thus can tame the fierceness of Dragon. In the dragon’s wild and cruel nature, Quan Yin is the only one who understands the dragon and his nature. She is the one that can heal him.
It’s hard to believe we are entering the last leg of summer here, the kids in our area are already back in school. Enjoy this month!
Twin Fairies is my third attempt at painting twins and I think the most successful. As I have written on my about page, I have an identical twin sister and we are the youngest in our family. My parents had an eight and four year old when we came along. They were busy with the older daughters, so the two of us were left on our own and played together all the time. We actually developed our own language and I can remember being in our own imaginary world pretending to be animals, fairies, etc. If you were to see our baby photos, we actually looked like chubby cherubs with curly hair.
My Mom was born in the early 20’s and when she was a child, her mom gave her illustrated prints of little fairies and children that were popular during that time period. Mom kept them and they hung in our bedrooms growing up. We loved them, they were magical and fun to look at. I wanted this painting to have a bit of that dreamy, magical style.
I’ve been thinking about the light and dark and how here in the United States each passing day brings more and more concerning news. We are living through an unique time period that has a surreal feeling to it. There are many polarizing issues with such a big gulf between them; from gun control, global warming, immigration, to race relations and gender issues. What seems clear to me, is not to others who have their own different beliefs. I’m sure they feel the same as I do. Arguing about the issues has not been productive.
There are no easy answers. I again started thinking about Carl Jung’s term the shadow and how what we don’t see in ourselves gets projected onto others. I think on a collective level we are all dealing with unhealed wounds from our past and collectively we need to blend the light and dark within ourselves.
Moonlit Dove with Sunlit Crow is a new painting of a white dove flying toward the moon and the black crow flying toward the sun is the result of my pondering. Getting back to painting is helping me refocus my energy away from absorbing too much negative news to being more centered and peaceful. This is helping me integrate my own anger issues that will hopefully reach out into the collective and help in some way.