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.
The Brothers is new painting of mine, a portrait of our two cats. Truffle and Tuxie were rescue kitties from a feral mother that we adopted six years ago. We just love them and their very different personalities.
Tuxie, pictured on the bottom is full of energy and a terrific hunter. I can’t recall all the times he’s brought chipmunks into the house. We usually catch them and put the little critters back outside much to Tuxie’s dismay. Tuxie is always letting Truffle know who is boss until Truffle can’t take it any more and goes after him. Truffle, pictured on top is a gentle soul, for although he’s afraid to sit in our laps, he soaks up affection and would happily be pet for hours. He is large and chubby; I had to stop leaving dry food out for he ate his and Tuxie’s portion.
I’m pleased with the painting and feel that I captured them pretty well. When Tuxie was about a year old, he came home with a broken tail which was very traumatic for him and us. We weren’t sure if he would have get the tail cut off but luckily it healed and now he has this quirky curl. He loves to lay on his back and lift his paws to get affection. He’s so adorable. Truffle lounges around curled up sleeping most the day. He, unlike quirky Tuxie, has perfect tuxedo cat markings. I used the cooler peaceful colors around Truffle since he is sensitive and mellow.
The painting also shows the lush colors of the southern summer. We’ve had a rainy few weeks here as summer began, the garden is doing well. There’s an overflow of zucchini and the tomatoes are almost ripe. I hope everyone is having a good start to the season!
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!
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.
Here is my new painting, Floating Mermaid. It’s feels good to be back to painting as I have had a long break. In early May, I took a road trip with my twin sister up to New York City. We met up with my two other sisters in New Jersey at my aunt’s home and had such a great reunion, also enjoying visiting with cousins and my aunt. It had been over ten years since we had all been together. We then took the train into Manhattan and got to spend time with my daughter who was finishing up her freshman year at NYU. She loves being in the city and it was reassuring to see how she was thriving.
Once she came home for summer break, an opportunity opened up for her to spend five weeks in China teaching English and visiting with Chinese friends she had made at school. It was all very sudden and with me helping her get ready for her adventure and having her home I found it challenging to focus on my art.
She’s been in China a week now and is enjoying herself and I am back to painting. This floating mermaid is the result. In life there are times we have to let go, relax and trust. As a mom, I was nervous about my 18 year old girl traveling on her own half way around the world. At this point, part of my journey as a mom is to let go and trust my child’s own path in life. In this painting I wanted to show a mermaid relaxing in the water as the sun shines on her with the white dove of peace soaring above her, knowing all is well.
I hope all are enjoying summer, whether you are home relaxing or off on exciting adventures!
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.