Each year around this time I paint a white dove in honor of International Peace Day which occurs on September 21st. On Monday as Tropical Storm Irma was blowing through Atlanta I decided to paint a new dove.
It was a stressful day for my husband as he was in the last stages of finishing up a big job and couldn’t afford to lose time in a power outage. I have a large studio window upstairs and watched the big trees in the back yard sway back and forth. The winds felt relentless, with big gusts coming through every few hours. In our neighborhood alone around seven or so large trees came down; many of our neighbors lost power. Half of our county lost power, with the children just returning to school yesterday. We were very, very lucky to have kept our power and also the internet service which was equally as important for my husband. It was quite a storm and my heart goes out to all that suffered loss.
I was pondering why the dove is a symbol of peace and thought one reason is the beautiful curves it has, the rounded head and nicely feminine, curved form. I tried to accent that in this painting. I then kept painting curving colors around and through the dove. I starting seeing all the curves that I was painting as the wind that I was hearing. It was a good distraction from our fears of losing power.
I liked the way it turned out. When I look at this dove it makes me think of these powerful natural events that touch us and in some ways bring our humanity out as we come together to help and renew.
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.
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.
A Pear of Goldfishes is my new still life painting. I decided to bring several elements together, starting with the pear in the small white bowl and the philodendron in the deep red pot. It became unbalanced so I decided to add a gold fish bowl and then topped it off with a Caroline wren in the window.
It was a fun challenge to get everything to work together and I I learned more in the process. I love the little Caroline wrens that hop about in our wooded backyard with their tail feathers usually pointing up. I’d been wanting to paint one for a while. Another challenge was coming up with a name for the painting. The helpful woman who scanned the painting for me suggested the name which I chose because it was so creative and fun.
It’s a beautiful yet cool and windy spring Friday. I hope everyone has a great weekend.
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.
Peace Dove Rising is my new painting. Each year in honor of International Day of Peace (Sept. 21st) I paint a white dove. It’s a day is observed by people all over the world to encourage peace within and among nations. Last year’s painting was a night scene which I titled, Darkest Before Dawn because at that time things appeared bleak. This year I felt like painting a happy, uplifted dove. It seems to me that progress is being made. There have been new major agreements occurring between nations. Leaders, political and spiritual, are shining light on major problems in our world in which we the people can come together and solve.
My husband and I took our daughter up to New York City for college three weeks ago and are adjusting to being empty nesters, it feels good to be settling down a bit and getting back to painting. If you are interested in learning more about the International Day of Peace and events occurring check out this link: http://www.internationaldayofpeace.org/
Darkest Before Dawn is my new painting. Each year around the International Day of Peace I like to paint a dove of peace. I’m a little behind the curve as the date was on September 21st but better late than never. I decided to paint a dove flying at night as lately it seems that there is a continuous stream of bad news in regards to world and national events. It is my feeling that the negativity that we are seeing and that many are experiencing will pass sooner rather than later and that actually many positive things are happening under the radar of the sensational news.
With the new season I seem to be settling down and better able to focus on painting which feels good. May this new season bring with it more hope and peace to everyone.
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!
Phoenix Rising is a new painting for my Heni’s Happy Paintings etsy shop. The phoenix is a powerful mythical bird that recreates its own life from the flames and ashes of the past and arises to be reborn to fly again. Lately some of my friends and family members have been going through some very tough times including; serious health, relationship and financial issues. It helps me to think of the phoenix myth and trust that they will be OK. We have all been and will go through very challenging times in our lives. Those big challenges can help us grow to become clearer and stronger in our lives. From these experiences we can go forward with a new sense of ourselves, like the fiery phoenix rising from the ashes.
Today September 21st is the International Day of Peace, a day observed by people all over the world to encourage peace within and among nations. In honor of the day I was inspired to paint a new white dove which I’ve titled Dove of Peace. I had painted two other whites doves years ago and wanted this painting to match the style to the other two. It was a joy for me to paint. This past week I’ve felt encouraged about our world becoming more peaceful. My hope is that people are so tired of war that they will encourage governments to use diplomacy to get people working together to resolve conflicts that will bring peace throughout the world. To learn more about the day and events occurring you can go to this link: http://www.internationaldayofpeace.org/