Beloved Sam is a new painting that I just completed for a birthday gift for Lauri Shock. Her husband, Billy Howard contacted me after receiving a note card of mine with the image of Adele’s Cats from a mutual friend. Billy asked if he could buy the original since one of the cats reminded them of their Sam who had recently passed away to give to Laurie on her birthday. Since I didn’t have the original I offered to do a new similar painting for him. He liked that idea and sent me his Medium Post, Sam the Cat, which has some lovely photos of Sam.
It was my first commissioned painting and I was a bit nervous, but Billy said that they liked my style of using bright colors so I went with it. I chose my mom’s stangl pitcher that looked a bit like one in the photos. With Sam, I accented his green eyes and white patch that they loved about him. I put a painting behind the flowers of birds flying as a symbol of Sam’s spirit being freed.
Sam showed up one day and became theirs when he was about a year old and for 15 years his quirky personality brought them joy daily. It was a pleasure painting Sam. I was touched by Billy’s thoughtfulness of wanting to do this for Lauri’s birthday gift. What a wonderful idea in helping them to honor Sam’s memory.
This week I felt like painting something light hearted so I chose Ganeshas my subject. Ganesh is one of the most worshiped gods of the Hindu Religion. He helps to destroy selfishness and vanity and to remove obstacles in one’s path. He brings good luck and fortune as he represents the material universe with all it’s many manifestations. His elephant head represents super intelligence, his one tusk represents being focused and his large tummy symbolizes digesting both the good and bad peacefully.
One of my sisters who has an elephant collection has always liked Ganesh. Years ago I made her a papier mache bowl with a painting of Ganesh on it. She still has it and it makes me feel good whenever I go up to visit her and see it. Her partner liked the white elephant that I painted last year and mentioned that he would like a Ganesh note card to give to his Indian friends at work, so that’s the plan. I’ll make some note cards of this to give to him for Christmas.
It seems to me that Ganesh knows how to relax and enjoy life, which helps to bring good luck. That is something we westerners could learn and benefit from. Here in Georgia the schools have already started up in what used to be the lazy last days of summer. In our home, my husband has just gotten a large job and will be working like crazy all month so we’ll just have to make do and relax when we can. I hope that everyone can carve out some relaxing time during these last days of Summer.
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.
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.
I’m back to painting again, here is a new still life I did in honor of my Mom. Her birthday was last Friday. I discovered this small megellica pitcher of hers hiding in the back on top of my kitchen cabinet last month. I just love it, the sunflower with the bee and the handle made to look like a branch.
Tulips in Mom’s Pitcher is a companion to the other majolica stoneware pitcher painting I did last year. I chose bright colorful tulips and pears to lift my spirits as the news has been very discouarging lately, it felt good to get absorbed in painting.
It’s been a busy season, we’ve had a guy redoing our hallway bathroom for the past four months. We have a 60’s split level and the bathroom shower was leaking and the floor cracked so we bit the bullet deciding to update it. He said he’d have it done before our girl got home from school in late December, she went back to school in late January with the bathroom still unusable. Now finally it is almost done. Though it’s taken him a long time, he’s quite an artist himself and has done a good job. It’s looking great and we’re thrilled.
I’m going to start a new painting this weekend, it’s a good distraction. Here in Atlanta everyone is very excited about the Super Bowl as our home team, the Falcons are hopefully going to “rise up,”as they say. Enjoy the weekend!
Harvest Maiden is a new painting of mine celebrating the beauty and bounty of fall. Here in Atlanta, the days have been unseasonably warm and sunny unlike last year when the wind and rain quickly took the leaves away; this year we are witnessing the beauty of fall as the colors slowly unfold. In the late afternoon when I look out my studio window to the backyard wooded hillside, the vivid leaf colors against the blue sky with the sunlight streaming through are breathtaking. The view inspired me to do this painting.
It feels good to be back to painting. I had been spending time matting and framing prints for the Flying Biscuit Cafe at their new location in John’s Creek. I also took a marketing class for artists which was helpful. I’ve never been business oriented but at this point it is an important skill I need to develop . The class was interesting, informative and fun; I realized that marketing takes creative thinking which is helping me to see it in a more positive light.
I also have a new friend that I met at an art fair I was in who has tons of experience in corporate creative marketing. She is helping me get more directed and focused. Focus is something that has not come easy for me, I tend to get scattered in a lot of directions. My husband and daughter are both focused and directed. I can see it serves them well and they both inspire me so. I plan to both paint and keep up with marketing, it will take time but I’m trusting the process and feel it will pay off.
Jungle Elephant is a new painting in my jungle animal series for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy shop. He is a royal white elephant walking up through the bamboo forest in Northern Thailand. The white elephant is considered sacred and a symbol for royal power there.
Years ago when my husband and I were hiking in Northern Thailand we kept noticing large round holes on the trail, after a while it dawned on us these holes were elephant tracks. The sun filtered lush bamboo forests are lovely and it was quite an adventure even though we never saw the elephants. I put in a full moon in this painting, as a fun memory of an experience we had in Chaing Mai. One evening we were eating at an outdoor cafe when I looked up and noticed the full moon that was being eclipsed, a large shadow was crossing it. I tried to motion to our server to let her know and she smiled and said “moon” probably thinking that I was pointing out the full moon, not realizing that a lunar eclipse was happening. The area was filled with people eating and strolling and it seemed we were the only ones aware of the eclipse. It was such a magical evening.
I painted this royal white elephant for my sister who has a collection of white elephants. She was the one that inspired us to travel to Southeast Asia. She had traveled through Thailand after her stint with the Peace Corps in the Solomon Islands. I’m so glad she gave us the idea. The year we spent traveling was such an enriching experience. It helped me view life and art in a more holistic way. Thanks Melissa!