I’ve just completed painting of a mermaid titled Breakthrough. Here in Atlanta we’ve been under stay-at-home orders for a few weeks; although, Georgia is only now making the order state wide today. I’ve been concerned about the Covid-19 for over a month, longer than most people here.
My daughter who was working for the University of Nevada had made plans to fly to Miami for spring break on March 10th. She’s an independent adult now, so we left the decision up to her but encouraged her not to go. The Wednesday prior to her planned trip, I came down with a mild virus; feeling chilled with no sore throat but lots of pain in my chest. I had remembered that feeling from when I had the swine flu years ago. I took it easy, drank lots of hot liquids, upped my Vitamin C and D and practiced the social distancing; within a few days it had passed. My daughter wisely decided to cancel her Miami trip and then flew home to Atlanta the following Wednesday since the campus had closed for the semester.
That second week of March I was incredibly fearful. I was constantly on the internet googling symptoms, watching YouTube videos about the subject, seeing the horrifying numbers go up in Italy. I begged my husband to stop going to the health club. It was exhausting and by the end of the week I was an emotional puddle. As my symptoms faded and then with our girl home, I started feeling better.
I realized that I needed to stop being so obsessed with the crazy politics and all the scary information floating through the media. It felt like a personal breakthrough and I wanted that reflected in the painting. I wanted to create a hopeful painting of a mermaid rising up from the water with the sun breaking through the storm clouds behind her. This challenging pandemic is creating heartbreaking situations as it travels through the world but also revealing underlying problems which will then eventually bring about solutions. It is also heartwarming to hear of so many of us rising up to join and help in the ways we can.
I completed Flowing Fish yesterday, it’s another painting in the larger format. I’m enjoying painting in this larger size as it’s helping me get looser by enabling me to use broader strokes. I have painted several fish in pairs perhaps because I was born in a pair, with my identical twin sister. Two fish swimming in opposite directions is also the symbol for Pisces which happens to be our sun sign. With all the rain and flooding we’ve had here in Atlanta, I’ve been feeling quite flowing lately.
In the painting I tried to capture the flowing feeling you have when snorkeling in coral reefs which is such a magical experience. Late winter tends to drag on and I’d like to be down in the tropics swimming about now. Perhaps that’s another reason I chose to do this painting. March begins next week, spring will be here soon!
I’ve just completed Ode to Chocolate. This painting is a sweet valentine to our childhood family dog, a standard poodle named Chocolate. My twin sister and I grew up with him; he was such a sweetie, he soaked up all the loving attention we gave him.
He was the second standard poodle our family had, the first, Impy had been stolen a few years earlier. My dad had trained him to hunt and always said Impy was the best hunting dog he had ever had. Standard poodles are fun, intelligent and make great hunting dogs. Unfortunately for Chocolate, while still a puppy, the boys next door threw a firecracker over the backyard wall which when he went to fetch, it exploded in his face. After that point he was a bit emotionally wounded as he understandably became more timid and very frightened of any loud sounds. Sadly for my dad, he was never able to train him to hunt.
Dad used to say he became a mamma’s boy. Mom did a good job of caring for him, she had a book on various poodle hair cut styles, I remember her shaving him with an electric shaver. As we got older we would help give him baths. In those days dogs ran free, Chocolate would go in and out whenever he liked, ringing the bells on the door to let us know. We spent a lot of time outside in the yard playing with him. Most nights he would be in next to one of our beds sleeping. I have such happy memories of Chocolate and all the love he gave us.
Mom and Baby Giraffe is a new painting of mine for the African animal series in my Heni’s Happy Painting Etsy Shop. Giraffes are so unique and seem like such gentle creatures. I tried to convey their gentleness in the painting.
A few months ago I heard that giraffes have now been added to the endangered animals list because of poaching and loss of habitat; and at that moment I decided to do the painting. A month later at the holiday artist market a neighbor who had traveled to the South Africa Savanna bought my lion and elephant prints to remind her of her trip but told me she really wanted a giraffe image because she had loved seeing them while there and that they were her favorite animal. I told her that the giraffe was going to be my next painting. One day I hope to travel to the African Savannah to view these majestic animals.
It feels good to be back to painting, I hope everyone is off to a good start in this new year.
Truffle Out on the Porch features our other much loved tuxedo kitty. This painting is a companion piece to last week’s painting of Tuxie. I’m enjoying the challenge of working on the larger paper. This painting had quite a few elements that took a while to bring together and work out.
We built a screened porch just off our dining room after a few years of living here and are glad we did. It’s quite spacious outdoor space with a peaked roof and is much needed with the mosquitoes that thrive here. It’s great for entertaining and just hanging out on mild days. Truffle tends to spend more time there then his brother. Tuxie tends to roam while Truffle is our home boy spending many afternoons out on the porch.
I’m now thinking that I might put both paintings up in the dining room. This one is brighter and there is space for both. When I get them up I will post a photo.
Here’s a new painting of our cat, Tuxie. Lately he has been hanging out on a chest by the window in my studio. This gave me the idea to do another cat sill life using one of Mom’s antique pitchers.
This large primitive yellowware pitcher sits on our kitchen shelf, I love the shape and the color contrasts nicely to Tuxie’s black fur. I brought it upstairs and added some philodendron plants that I’m rooting for interest and started painting. I spent most the week on it. It’s a larger painting on 18 by 24 inch water color paper then I typically paint on as I plan on framing and hanging it in our dining room.
Recently we changed things up in the dining room, I took out a large side board and crazy quilt wall hanging and moved them into the living room. We moved in my dads antique mission chair recliner next to a drop leaf table which opened up the space provided more connection to our screened in porch. It’s a bit dark though; so, I wanted a larger painting next to the chair to add interest and lighten up the room.
Tuxie with Mom’s Antique Yellowware Pitcher is the result. I next plan on painting our other cat, Truffle in a scene on the porch. They say cooler weather is coming, let’s hope fall weather will finally arrive soon.
I have to say that it feels good to be back painting. I’ve just completed Soaring White Dove in time for International Day of Peace 2019, which is today, September 21st. This year the focus is on climate change; certainly caring for the earth will aid in bringing peace. Here is a link with details: International Day of Peace. Because of this theme I decided to paint a dove showing a beautiful landscape below. Yesterday was inspiring and encouraging to see young people from around the globe demonstrating in the fight against climate change.
My daughter has gotten her first full time job in her field at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. She moved last week and texted me photos of the view from her apartment with the mountains in the distance which she finds beautiful. We are happy that she’s found an interesting job for herself in a new geographic area as she loves traveling and experiencing new places. Her photos gave me the idea to paint a scene with mountains reflecting the sunlight.
WordPress wished me, “Happy Anniversary” this week. I saw that I have been blogging for seven years now which is hard to believe. I’ve also been painting doves for Peace Day for many years. Some of the paintings more successful than others. My favorite is Through the Storm which I painted two years ago. I like this one also and hope you do too!