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!
Shining Sea Turtle is a new turtle painting of mine. I had not painted in about a month as my daughter is graduating from high school in a few weeks. She will be going off to New York University in the fall. It was very unexpected as we assumed she would be going to an in state school. She got accepted and received enough funding to make it possible. It’s been an exciting few weeks figuring out the details. We are thrilled and very proud of her. It’s been my girl’s dream to go off to school in New York City and now it’s actually going to happen!
I’ve settled down a bit and it feels good to be back painting. I love doing underwater ocean scenes and I just felt like painting a serene sea turtle. I hope all are having a peaceful happy season.
I have just completed Pink Seahorse for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy shop. Early this week a woman contacted me through my shop. She liked the style of my other seahorse print listed there but instead of a seahorse family she wanted one pink seahorse. Seahorses are such interesting creatures. Years ago when my daughter was in elementary school I remember taking her to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History where there was an exhibit of seahorses in several tanks. They were so magical with their amazing colors and horse like shapes and the way they skirted through the water. I could have watched them for hours. I decided it would be fun to paint a new one and that it would be a nice addition to my sea life prints which have been popular sellers. I haven’t heard back from the woman yet, I hope she will like it. Regardless, it was fun to paint and I’m pleased.
We’ve just had another long week of ice and snow. I live in the South for a reason, we’ve had quite enough of this cold snowy weather. I feel for the folks in the North, this winter has been brutal. I’ve spent the snowy days dreaming of the warm Caribbean while working on a new fish painting, Red Fish in the Tropics. In this painting I’ve tried to capture the magic one sees while snorkeling along coral reefs. I love the way sound is muted and yet you see movement everywhere. The light bounces through the water and brightens the vivid colors of the fish while the schools of fish swim along in the same direction ready at any moment to dart off on a different course. You usually see one of two larger fish floating along with the current moving a bit slower. I worked many hours on this painting trying to get that feeling, by layering the light to get the sense of movement and adding lots a bright details to the fish and coral. The painting still doesn’t capture it fully but I didn’t want it to be too over worked and am fairly pleased. Let’s hope spring in the Northern hemisphere will come sooner than later. Until then we can dream…
Last April we were in Hawaii for my nephew’s wedding. His wife is from the Big Island and they had a lovely outdoor ceremony on a bluff overlooking the water right before sunset. The spot was called Turtle Point. Just below was a cove where we actually snorkeled and saw sea turtles swimming. That was very exciting for me because I had done this painting for their wedding gift and had also painted another sea turtle earlier but had never seen one swimming in the water before. They were very gentle creatures moving about peacefully.
I had fun painting these turtles, I wanted my nephew and his wife to have a nice memory of their amazing wedding and also have it be something their future children might look at and think about their parent’s wedding. My parents had a hand-painted plate of pretty delicate love birds with the date of their wedding that they had received as a wedding gift. It always hung above the kitchen door. I loved that plate and it helped me to remember their wedding anniversary date.
Honu is the Hawaii word for the sea turtle and on the Big Island, there are images of sea turtles everywhere. The honu is revered as a sacred symbol of life force. Hawaii is a such a unique and beautiful place. They say the South is friendly but in my opinion Hawaiians top Southerners. They were so open hearted, kind and relaxed. The spectacular natural beauty of the Big Island was breath taking. I hope to return one day.
This is a new painting I made because my niece Julia requested an Octopus. I had done three paintings of dolphins, one of which I thought Julia would like for Christmas since she had enjoyed swimming with them on our Hawaiian trip. When I showed them to her she said that she would rather have an octopus instead. I didn’t feel like painting an octopus as I think of them is being a bit creepy. I went shopping on Etsy and found a cute octopus necklace for her instead.
Once Julia had put the thought in my head I decided to go ahead and paint an octopus as I am wanting to add more kid friendly prints to my new shop . I also thought it would make for an interesting composition by creating different spaces with the unusual shape of an octopus and all of it’s legs. It was fun to paint and I’m fairly pleased with the result and now I am ahead for next Christmas!
Orange Fish in Emerald Seais another fish painting of mine. I love painting fish, with their unique shapes, large eyes and gaping mouths. Their eyes and mouths give them unique character.. It’s a gray day here in Atlanta, I’m on my second cup of coffee and am feeling a bit frustrated. I started a new tropical fish painting and it’s not coming together so far. That happens to me a lot, I start the painting and in the middle of the process it is a mess but I know if I stick with it I’ll get it to work. I decided to take a break and upload a painting that I do like here on my blog. I hope you like it too. I just looked outside the sun is out, blue sky. I think the day is going to get better.
Fish in the Depths is another of my fish paintings. A hand carved wooden fish ornament hanging in my bedroom was my inspiration. I have always loved it’s smooth oval shape with the little dot for the eyes. Once I painted the fish in I started playing with overlaying contrasting colors and scratching back to add texture and soon it became another tropical fish painting. I think the fish’s expression turned out nicely. It’s gotten cold here in Atlanta this week, I think I’ll start a new fish painting this weekend.
Last April we went to a family wedding in Hawaii. One of the highlights of our vacation was swimming with dolphins. While snorkeling at a coral reef I looked over to see a pair of dolphins swim by. We swam out to where there were more and watched them frolic. They were so playful and the beauty of the light through the clear blue water reflecting on their bodies was striking. Here is a photo that my niece took of them.
I have always loved dolphins. Throughout my childhood every year our family went to St. Simons Island off the coast of Georgia for a week in late August. We used to fish at the Point – a lovely spot where the beach met the marsh. I remember fishing on the rocks there and just waiting to see the dolphins that occasionally passed through. It was very exciting to spot them, they seemed so joyful and free.
Through the years I’ve dreamed about dolphins. As a kid I liked gymnastics but could never get past my fear of doing back handsprings. My dad said it was because I was so tall and had a big head; whatever the case, I never mastered it. I remember a powerful dream that I had in my twenties when I was going through a particularly tough time and feeling a lack of confidence. In the dream a group of dolphins swam around me and helped me do a back handspring. With their help it was so easy to do and I woke up feeling they had given me a gift.
Since getting back from Hawaii, I’ve been inspired to paint them, the painting below is my third one. Dolphins are a great example of just how joyful life can be. It is my hope that these paintings help convey that joy.