There Goes My Shadowis a painting I blogged about a year and a half ago that I recently reworked. Last month as I began the recent painting Moonlit Dove and Sunlit Crow, I took a look at this older painting because of the similar theme of dealing with the shadow. I realized then that the painting looked weak.
I have added more color and contrast to to help pop out the fall colors and I also reworked the girl’s face. My painting teacher used to have us do an exercise of painting in a darkened room since it would naturally force us to use more contrast with the lights and darks. It was a helpful lesson and it came to mind as I looked back that this painting. I think it works better now.
I’ve been thinking about the light and dark and how here in the United States each passing day brings more and more concerning news. We are living through an unique time period that has a surreal feeling to it. There are many polarizing issues with such a big gulf between them; from gun control, global warming, immigration, to race relations and gender issues. What seems clear to me, is not to others who have their own different beliefs. I’m sure they feel the same as I do. Arguing about the issues has not been productive.
There are no easy answers. I again started thinking about Carl Jung’s term the shadow and how what we don’t see in ourselves gets projected onto others. I think on a collective level we are all dealing with unhealed wounds from our past and collectively we need to blend the light and dark within ourselves.
Moonlit Dove with Sunlit Crow is a new painting of a white dove flying toward the moon and the black crow flying toward the sun is the result of my pondering. Getting back to painting is helping me refocus my energy away from absorbing too much negative news to being more centered and peaceful. This is helping me integrate my own anger issues that will hopefully reach out into the collective and help in some way.
Crow in the Moonlight is my new painting which I began early in the week and finished up on Friday. I had felt like doing a moodier dark painting after the recent light and airy sunlit mermaids I’d done. The last few days have been very sad and disturbing here in the States and I’ve been glad to have the distraction of painting. It seems to me that the powers that be like to keep us divided. We’re on in this together, my heart goes out to all who are suffering.
I’ve painted many a crow and thought it would be fun to do a moonlit scene to add to my collection. I enjoyed every moment of painting this, it’s great to be back painting again.
Crow Visits a Girl in the Gardenis my most recent painting. After painting the Girl and Wolf, where the girl’s face was so small, I felt the urge to paint a larger portrait. The crows are back in our neck of the woods so they’ve been on my mind. I thought it would be interesting to place a crow with the girl in a garden scene. I’m fairly pleased, it was a fun challenge.
It is quite chilly this morning and the leaves are just starting to turn, feels like fall now. The sky is bright and it will be warming up shortly, It’s great to have such a beautiful weekend after the past few dreary, rainy ones. I plan to go visit a local art festival this afternoon. Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!
Late one night in the wee hours I awoke to a strange shrill cry outside the window which is just above our bed. I looked up and saw a crow staring at me from the ledge who then flew away; it was very startling and a bit frightening. I had heard crows can be omens of death; luckily nothing bad came to pass. The crow in this painting seems to me like he is standing on a window ledge somewhere in a Mexican Village looking down on a festive evening, perhaps the Dia De los Muetos.
I learned about the Day of Dead years ago when we lived in Oakland California. Each year the Oakland Museum had a wonderful Day of the Dead exhibit of colorful alters done by various local groups. The Dia De los Muetos is a Mexican holiday celebrated on this day where families gather to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Happy Day of the Dead to all!
I wrote my first blog post a year ago today. I was nervous about starting a blog because I’m a pretty private person. I consoled myself thinking not many would read my writing anyway, we are all so busy, so I went ahead and decided to try it. I posted a crow painting and wrote a very personal piece in memory of my dad who was born on this date. What I’ve discovered surprisingly is that it has been fun to write and express the thoughts and stories behind my paintings. It’s been like jumping in to cold water, it starts warming up after a while. I’ve enjoyed connecting with other bloggers and following blogs that catch my interest. I feel a sense of community with people all over the world. I’m glad I took the plunge.
Speaking of my dad, I think he has been a big influence on why I enjoy writing. He grew up during the depression in Virginia before television. Time was slower then and his family would hang out playing music and listening to stories. He got the story telling gift; he was perfectly at ease being the center of attention and could tell a story that would keep anyone interested. My sisters and I heard fun stories about my dad’s childhood: like hunting for squirrels, or how he pretended to hate whipped cream because he got special attention for that, the way he swept mom off her feet when they first met, their fun first years together and on and on. My oldest sister was an english major in college and is a natural writer, she writes an excellent monthly astrology column, Heavenly Messages, which she posts on her website here. My twin sister is a gifted poet and is planning on publishing a daily Christian devotional soon. I think dad would be happy about his influence on us and I wonder what he would have thought about blogging. Happy birthday Dad, thanks!
To create anything… is to believe, if only momentarily, you are capable of magic.’
It is a beautiful fall Wednesday here in Atlanta. The leaves are changing to lovely warm colors and it is in the mild mid 70’s. Delightful!
Here is another crow painting of mine. I like this painting, even though it is acrylic on watercolor paper it reminds me of crayon drawings that children create in elementary school.
I saw the quote above on my twitter feed this morning. It is from Tom Bessill who has written a book The Magic Hours, about creativity. Here is a link to a review by Maria Popova on Brain Pickings, she is one of my favorite tweeters: Brain Pickings
Today, October 1st is my dad’s birthday, so he’s on my mind. Whenever I paint a crow I think of him. I’ve been pondering why this is so.
He grew up in Charlottesville Virginia went to the University there. Edger Allen Poe had gone there briefly years before and he was one of my dad’s favorite poets. Dad would recite the Raven especially this time of year as the days shorten and head to Halloween.
My dad had a real love of nature, and he passed that love on to his four girls. Most weekends we drove out to the Alabama countryside. We spent our afternoons running around picking blackberries, playing in the hay, swimming in the pond and creeks. We would spy on beavers and shy away from rattle snakes. There he taught us to ride a horse, fish and shoot a shotgun. He loved bird hunting. He never took us hunting but we plucked many a quail.
I loved this time of year out in the Southern countryside.. The beauty of the dried grasses, cornstalks and few remaining cotton balls along side the rustic barbwire fence against the backdrop of the blue sky with crows flying about. Years later I realize what a gift the my dad gave us. That experience over time got into our bones. That is why I paint birds and other natural creatures. So thank you Dad!