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.
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.
Mom and Baby Beluga Whale is a new painting for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy Shop. I wanted to do a new sea life painting with a mom and baby. It’s been fun to paint the two whales and figure out how to bring in the light through the water.
I was the girl scout leader for my girl’s troop through her fifth grade, our big end of the year event was a sleep over at the Atlanta Aquarium which had recently opened. The girls were thrilled. We got the “behind the scenes” tour and to do lots of fun activities through the night. My favorite spot was by the window with a view into the large Beluga Whale tank. There were two whales that would swim by and look at us. They are graceful and seemed very gentle and curious about our kids. Later in the night we set up our sleeping bags in the river otter section which was something, they came alive at night calling each other and diving in and out of the water. It was great fun to watch, though we didn’t get any sleep.
In this painting the Beluga Whales are free and not in captivity. Recently the Georgia Aquarium has decided to no longer will take whales or dolphins caught in the wild, they need to be with larger family groups and able to swim free. Times are changing as we become more aware.
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.
Lately with the US Presidential election season heating up, I’ve been thinking about the collective shadow. Psychologist Carl Jung termed the shadow as the unowned negative parts of ourselves that we tend to project on others. Here are a few quotes on the shadow:
Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with darkness in other people. – Carl Jung
Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. – Carl Jung
Both light and shadow are the dance of love.- Rumi
These past few weeks I’ve been trying to look at my own shadow. It has been painful but I’m feeling stronger now, more centered. I wanted to do a painting about the shadow and the light that comes from releasing our fears. There Goes My Shadow is the result.
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!