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.
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!
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.
Jellyfish Bloom is a painting that I’ve just completed for my sea life series. I chose to paint a bloom of jellyfish for a couple of reasons. First, they are beautiful translucent ocean creatures which I thought would be an interesting challenge to try to capture. The second and main reason was the jellyfish has been on my mind is because they simply float through water getting all their needs met, their venomous tentacles stun their prey and also protect them from predators.
Lately I’ve been feeling that I need to chill more, honor my own boundaries and get back into what I enjoy most – painting. Last fall I worked long hours on a couple of projects in an effort to bring in more money with my art. I have to say all that expenditure of energy and work did not pay off too well. The online art shop was fun to create and I enjoyed learning a bit of Photoshop but I need to market it for the shop to be seen and I’m not sure if anyone really needs another mug, t-shirt, etc.
So I’m going to float like a jellyfish and let new ideas come to light that will be a better match for my art and also bring money in.
It’s been a busy season, a couple of Sundays ago we had the yearly neighborhood artist holiday open house at my home. I enjoy decorating my home as it gets me into the Christmas spirit. Several artist friends and their lovely art fill the downstairs during the show. It was a sunny mild day with lots of people stopping by; everyone seemed to do well. The following Monday I took time to restock my framed prints over at the Flying Biscuit Cafes.
Now I’m back to painting. I’ve just completed Leo the Lion. I had painted the Lion’s Gatea while back but this time I wanted to paint a large lion as if the solar light was shining on and from him. The sun rules Leo and the Lion is it’s symbol. I have a good friend, a Leo who is having serous health issues. I admire his strength, to me, he seems gallant the way he has handled his degenerative illness and continues to be present and loving with his family.
Many years ago on Christmas, my twin sister and I received the set of books, The Chronicles ofNarnia by C.S. Lewis which we read over the winter break. Both of us loved the series as the writing was imaginative and magical. I especially loved the Aslan, the lion. He was the majestic guide, strong and kind. I pictured him in my mind as he took the children for rides on his back. How safe and secure they felt. In the film that came out a few years back, the lion was much smaller than I imagined. The lion I painted is how I see him.