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.
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!
Black Panther is a new painting for my large jungle cat collection. I wanted him to look powerful as he prowls through the rainforest on a full moon night contrasting with the colorful foliage surrounding him.
The panther is a general term for a large black feline. In Asia, they are solid black leopards, while in the Americas they are black jaguars. Their color caused by genetics in which the normal orange spots are black, making them extremely rare. Panthers are intelligent and agile and seldom seen by humans as they are very quiet and cautious.
In reading about the symbolism of the panther I learned that the panther is closely associated with the power of night and the dark moon. It is the symbol of a protective mother. The panther spirit animal stands for power and protection.
Though it’s the end of summer, here in Atlanta we’ve had hot dry weather for weeks now, I’m more than ready for fall to arrive. I hope all are enjoying the last days of the season.
King Elephant is a painting I made in June around Father’s Day. I woke up one morning and decided to paint a large African elephant. Only afterwards did I realize it was a compliment painting to the Mom and Baby Elephant that I had done four years prior when my daughter was about to start her freshmen year of college. She graduated from college this May. He is the father elephant. I love it when it’s only later my conscious mind catches up to my impulse to paint a subject, that’s part of the magic of art. I had been thinking of how hard my husband worked those four years to support her financially and also that he was there for her, always believing in her and supporting her ability to forge her own path.
I chose the name “King Elephant” after a game that our extended family used to play whenever we got together during the holidays and summer beach trips. Everyone would play including my parents and the young children. My brother-in-law would always start the game as the lead King Elephant. We all loved playing it.
With the advent of the “me too” movement and seeing the misuse of power by men in politics and other areas, it is heartening to see that that my husband and brother-in-laws have done their best to be balanced good men; involved and supportive dads and husbands. I appreciate them and all the men that strive to be aware and balanced.
I’ve painted Brooklyn Bridge View in honor of my daughter who is graduating from New York University in just a few weeks. These four years have zipped by quickly and I wanted this painting to serve as a memory. It is loosely based on a photo of our girl taken when we were visiting New York City the summer after her fourth grade year. We did a lot of fun tourist things that included taking a ferry tour around Manhattan.
Our girl loved New York City and on her “back to school” report in 5th grade, she wrote about her “Favorite Place.” Here is the first line from her essay, “People are moving, some rushing to get to a place, others strolling along, not in a big hurry. It’s really crowded, each person is different in NYC. New York City is my favorite place, it’s famous for so many different things…”
At that point in time I realized what a good little writer she was and that her Montessori education had been perfect for her. How lucky she was to have had such amazing and dedicated teachers. Her public education all the way through high school served her very well.
Back on that ferry, we never suspected she would attend college in NYC; but, she made it happen and has loved every minute of being there. She discovered linguistics and luckily, New York University has an excellent program where she is about to receive her degree. After a year break she plans to continue with graduate school This summer she landed a very competitive internship at Harvard where she’ll be assisting a PhD student on a research project in their linguistics lab.
We leave for NYC next week, my three sisters and her uncle and cousin are joining us to celebrate her graduation. We are all excited and happy for this major milestone. It will be fun to see her walk the stage at Radio City Music Hall and later to stand up at Yankee Stadium. My husband and I are so very proud of her and her accomplishments and are happy for this next stage in her life!