Air Element is the final painting of my element series, it joins the water, earth and fire paintings that I’d done in the last few months. I spent a week just mulling over how to show the air element in a painting. I thought about doing a sky scene with butterflies or some sort of birds flying about. I researched air elemental myths, they are called sylphs, from what I could tell these beings look like wispy cirrus clouds and move about through wind currents helping to clean the air. I liked that idea. Once I thought of wind currents, I decided to have flying birds in the painting.
One thing I love about painting is it inspires me be more observant. That evening as I walked through my neighborhood, I kept looking at the sky and noticing the dramatic clouds as the sun sunk lower. At one point I stopped and watched several swallows feasting on insects as they swooped through the air way up in the sky. I figured that was a sign and chose to do an evening scene with swallows and sylphs.
Swallows with their streamlined bodies and pointed wings are agile flyers adapted to feeding on flying insects. They mate for life and in modern times, the swallow is usually seen as a symbol of peace, respect, love, and loyalty. I painted the sky just prior to sunset with the clouds starting to light up and the sky darken and the wispy sylphs in the air currents while swallows soar through the air.
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.
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!
After my last two paintings which were somewhat dark, I felt like choosing a more lighthearted and whimsical subject. With the festive holiday season in full swing I decided to paint the mythical sea goat constellation Capricornus.
On the Winter solstice which marks the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, the sun moves into the astrological sign of Capricorn. It’s symbol is the sea goat. The goat is sure-footed and steady as it slowly climbs up the mountain while the fish tail represents the depths of the sea. Taken together it represents a mature individual who uses both their reasoning and intuition.
In this painting, the sea goat is floating in the sky over the mountain tops enjoying the festive winter night. It’s gotten very cold here, feels like winter. Our daughter gets home for her winter break in a few days and we’re so looking forward to seeing her and spending time with friends and family. Hope everyone is enjoying this magical season.
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!
Lady and the Unicorn is a new painting to add to my mythical creatures series. I’ve always been fascinated by unicorns and wondered if they ever actually existed. One Christmas while in high school, my older sister gave me a jigsaw puzzle which had a striking image of a tamed unicorn in a lovely garden from a medieval tapestry. I loved it.
Years later while living in New York City every so often I would trek up to the Cloisters Metropolitan Museum to view the original tapestry which is part of The Hunt of the Unicorn series on view there. The building and tapestries made me feel as if I had gone back to a more meditative time. In this painting I wanted it to have the feel of a medieval tapestry so I painted a floral pattern background and a traditional unicorn with his billy goat’s beard showing, The unicorns from that period also had a lion’s tail and cloven hooves.
In myths unicorns are mysterious, beautiful and hard to tame. They are seen as gentle, strong and kind. The innocent maiden is able to tame him with her open heart and trusting nature.