I am pleased to be the Artist of the Month for May at the Phoenix and Dragon Bookstore here in Atlanta. It’s given me the opportunity to honor my Mom. Every year around her birthday I do a painting in her memory and some are showcased in the show. As the years go on I realize how my Mom’s creativity inspired me to become an artist. I am happy that I can honor her in this way. The poster and photos of the opening are below. The show is going on through May. Happy Mother’s Day!
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.
Years ago I painted the interior one of my large papier mache bowls with a scene of a woman pouring water out of her vessel, the water turned into waves that curve around the the bowl. I loved the way the image worked so well with the bowl shape. I still have the bowl which sits in our living room. I felt like trying to do a painting with a similar idea. The Star is the result.
A young woman is pouring water into a pond in the evening with the stars shining above. To me the painting symbolizes that each human being is unique like stars in the sky and that through our own uniqueness that we pour out into the world we help to create a better world. It’s good to see people coming together and focusing on how they can contribute in their own way during this turbulent time period.
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.
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.
I felt drawn to paint a lotus this week because of it’s meaning. The lotus flower symbolizes rising from a dark space into a place of beauty and rebirth. Lotus flowers grow out of muddy and murky water and produce beautiful blossoms. They are a symbol of strength among adversity. It’s been a couple of tough weeks for me emotionally but I’m starting to feel better. The lotus reminds me that sometimes when we go through a dark period something beautiful can come about in time.
Pink Lotus Flower is my fourth lotus painting and with this one I wanted to emphasis the flower coming up from the dark with the the light shining from above. I am pleased with it, I like the contrast of the lights and darks. I tried to capture the way the lotus seems to glow in the sunlight. My hope is that all will feel more uplifted as we enter the December holiday season.
In the last few months I have been sorting through my father’s coin collection. Most of the coins are from the United States, including several early American ones. What struck me is that the early coins all have the image of Lady Liberty on them. One of the earliest from the 1700’s is named the Flowing Hair Liberty. There is another later coin where she is walking with the sun rising behind her. These Liberty coins are all very beautiful to me. Lady Liberty symbolized the freedom from tyranny – a nation free from cruel and oppressive government rulers. Her image stopped appearing on coins starting in the 1930’s as presidents and other male figures took her place.
With the shock that went through the world last week as it dawned on all that Trump had won the United States presidential election, it got me thinking about Lady Liberty. My ancestors fought for freedom in the Revolutionary war and I don’t know what they would think about our current time period. I feel we need a new revolution, one where we unite and heal our differences and work toward a future where all can thrive, including the beautiful planet that we live on.
Flowing Hair Liberty is the result of these feelings I have.