Cardinal in the Tree is a painting that I recently completed. I’ve done many dove and crow paintings with the sun or moon in the scene and I got the idea to try my hand at creating a similar whimsical painting of a song bird. I chose the cardinal since I felt like using bright red paint.
We have a couple of cardinal couples that hang out in our yard. One late afternoon while in my husband’s upstairs studio, I looked out the window and saw a beautiful cardinal high up in a tree branch, this surprised me because I hadn’t realized just how tall particular accent tree had gotten. I planted 15 years ago and it has tripled in size.
With that scene in mind, I started the painting. I know that many people think when a cardinal appears it can symbolize a dead loved one is thinking of them. I like that idea and every time I spot a male cardinal, I like to think that my dad is winking at me. He and my mom loved their backyard with all their song birds. I hope all are enjoying this Easter and Passover weekend.
Brothers by the Window is my new painting. A few months ago, I rearranged the furniture in our living room placing a side table in front of the big window and it soon became a favorite hang out for our kitties. I placed a pillow there which Truffle enjoys. Tuxie will sometimes join him by sitting on the edge but he tends to look a bit irritated at Truffle having more space. It also makes Truffle a bit nervous but he holds his ground. I tried to show this dynamic in the painting.
I took a picture with the boys together and sent it to my daughter who loves to get daily updates on the cats. We both noticed how striking it was with the light outside and the dark interior and I thought to myself, here’s the subject for a new painting. Mom’s birthday was last week; I generally do a still life painting around this time of year in her honor, and so I began the new still life with the cats.
It was a fun and challenging painting to do. I wanted the interior to be dark but also light enough to show off the beautiful antique table. I included the houseplants on either side of the cats to show the warm tropical greenery in contrast to the cold winter day outside. I’m getting better at depicting Tuxie who has interesting asymmetric markings on his face making it challenging to get his looks down. I’m glad to be back to painting and have started a new one that I’m working on this weekend.
Jupiter is a new painting for my planet series. I started this painting a few months ago and have only now completed it. We were busy during the holidays and prior to that were updating our kitchen, opening up a wall to the dining room and then I painted the upstairs hallway and my daughter’s room, which had been a bright purple color from all the way back to her middle school days.
It felt good to get the house updates accomplished but I’m happy to get back to painting. Last weekend while waiting on the snow storm I started reworking this painting. It’s done now and I’m ready to start a fresh painting.
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun and is the largest planet of the solar system. It is a gas giant with lower density than earth and covered with rapidly moving bands of white and brownish storm clouds. Jupiter has four large moons and more than seventy smaller moons. The famous red spot is a big storm that is the size of Earth.
Jupiter as the largest planet was named after the Roman king of the gods who ruled the sky and thunder and was in charge of laws and social order. In astrology Jupiter represents the principles of growth and expansion.
Sarah and her husband, Mike have done an incredible job on pulling this project together and I know that Sarah’s dream of helping others through her writings will unfold in a way that will surpass their hopes! She is already at work on a new book and as her twin sister I can not be more proud and happy for her!
I took some time off from painting to work on my artist website that I had made back in 2017. I had not done much with it since being in a two art shows in 2018. With my sister’s devotional, Awaken to Rest being published any day now, my website may get some more traffic. With this in mind, I uploaded several paintings from the last few years to the collection pages and made a new artist statement and projects page. I’m still tweaking it, but it’s in fairly good shape.
So, now I am back to painting. Blue Spiral is another abstract, I had the idea to paint spirals on all sides of the page. I began with the blue spiral centered horizontally on the page and then painted another spiral perpendicular and then two more coming across from the corners, each one a different color. From there, I began playing with more loops and circles and blending colors until it felt right. All the remained to be seen was the Blue Spiral.
It’s hard to believe that September is just a few days away, hope everyone is enjoy the last days of summer.
Tuxie with Sunflowers is my most recent painting. I had the pitcher of sunflowers on the chest next to the window in my studio that I used to do my last painting, Sunflowers in Mom’s Silver Pitcher. Over the days it took me to do that painting, Tuxie would jump up and lay next to the pitcher. I took several photos with my phone and sent them my daughter. She loves getting texts with photos of her beloved kitties. I took a blend of two of those photos to create this painting.
Tuxie’s face is challenging to paint because of his asymmetric patterns on his symmetric face. I worked at getting his face to work for quite a while. Tuxie and his brother, Truffle keep me company as I paint. Their birthday is coming up in August. They will be 12 years old. We just love them both!
I have note cards and framed prints in a display at the Westside Market in Toco Hills. The cat with still life note cards are big sellers. I think this one will be a nice addition.
I felt like taking a break from my abstracts to do a still life painting. For several years now, around my Mom’s birthday, I have painted one of her pitchers in her honor. I skipped this year as her birthday was in January, but recently I’ve been clearing out many of her antique items from the estate which we’d kept all these years. I’ve sold some of the silver and have taken boxes of tinware and depression glass over to the Treasure Mart, a local consignment shop. This has gotten me feeling quite sentimental.
I’ve kept her small silver-plated pitcher which does not have much value, but I love the shape. It was down in our dining room and I thought to myself I’m going to do one more pitcher painting in honor of Mom. I also liked the challenge of trying to depict silver. Since we are in the heat of summer, I chose sunflowers. I’ve been thinking and appreciating my three sisters lately and thus I chose four flowers symbolizing the four daughters that Mom had.
It was a fun painting to do and now I’m starting a new painting with the same pitcher next to my cat Tuxie to add to my cat still-life series.
Here is a new painting for my planet series. Pluto is the furthest planet out from the sun and takes 248 years to complete its orbit. It was discovered in 1930. Because it was so far away from the sun and very cold Pluto was named after the Roman god of the underworld, he was the judge of death but also the god of wealth because of the metals and riches that lie underground. Pluto is considered a dwarf planet because it is so small. Although Pluto is small, in astrology Pluto is a powerful planet of transformation that rules the astrological sign of Scorpio.
With all that in mind, I decided to paint Pluto small in a rich dark red color. The brightness around it symbolizes the riches of the god Pluto. This painting is darker than the others because it’s far from the sun with no other planets in sight. I used layers and layers of paint. I’m fairly pleased and will start a new painting this weekend.
Lamb in the Meadow is a painting I completed this week for my twin sister to use as an illustration for her devotional. My friend, who is an excellent graphic artist and an experienced self-publisher is working with her to format the devotional for publishing. She had the idea to include illustrations in grey-tone from some of my paintings on the pages with the chapter headings and such.
For one of the sections, my sister wanted a lamb laying in the meadow along a path in the same style as Fox in the Hillside, a painting I’d done years ago. It took me a while to sketch out the lamb in a relaxed manner but once I got that done, it was fun to look back at the fox painting to get the same elements of the flowers and sun.
The book is coming together:, she’s completed the editing and they are almost done with the formatting. I have a few more images to paint for them which I’m hoping to finish this weekend. Because it is a daily devotional, she has decided to publish in early fall so people will be able to have it in time for the new year. I’m so impressed with her writings and just how professional it is looking. It’s all very exciting and I’m happy to be involved.
Fire is a new painting of mine continuing with the element theme. Traditionally the fire element represents action, power, passion, and creativity. A few years ago, I painted a night scene in the forest with a largeBonfireto represent the fire element. In this new painting I chose a daylight scene so that it would include the sun; which, of course is the biggest fire ball that lights up the sky and allows for life on our planet.
It is a another abstract landscape with the idea of a controlled fire. Fires are needed in dryer lands to clear underbrush and open acorns and seeds that open only with fire. Indigenous people have been practicing controlled, deliberate burns in North America, and around the world, for millennia.
I put in the fire salamanders as I did in the Bonfire painting. They symbolize the fire element; in fact ,the name salamander is derived from a Greek term loosely meaning “fire lizard.” Some salamanders hibernate in hollow, decaying logs of wood. When the log was used for burning the salamanders would leap out and this led to the idea of them being born of the fire.
I’m pleased with the painting and am beginning a new one today. Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all.