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.
One of my goals for the new year was to begin a daily practice of making art. I’ve started sketching more and I try to have a painting on my easel most of the time. Here is a still life I recently completed, Lemons.
When I first started painting years ago, I painted several pears in this blue bowl. It’s helpful to start a painting from a real scene, you can focus on what you see, how the light effects the colors of the objects. I felt it would be a good exercise to do some still lifes where I could actually see what I am painting.
I chose lemons this time around as lemons are one of my favorite fruits. I use them daily to make marinaded salads and add them to tea. Their bight cheerful yellow color seems to match this time of year when everything is waking up.
It was a fun challenge and I am fairly pleased. In keeping with my goal, I’ve stared sketching a scene for a new painting, another still life.
Robin Among the Dogwood Flowers is a new painting for my bird series. It seems that around this time of year I’m usually inspired to paint spring scenes. Spring here in Atlanta is breathtaking and each day brings new colors as the various plants awaken. In the past few weeks the dogwoods are taking their turn with their bright white flowers lighting up the landscape.
The robins are back in the hood. Last week a robin landed just outside my kitchen window where I had long close up look at him. Right then I decided it would be fun to paint a robin. One thing I love about painting is that it helps me to observe more closely the the world around me. On my walks through the neighborhood, I focused on observing the robins and dogwoods as I worked on this painting.
Robins symbolize renewal and hope as they are one of the first birds to return in spring. Some Native American tribes saw the robin’s red chest and bright yellow break as a symbol of the dawning of the sun. The yellow beak symbolized the rays of the sun and when seeing a robin it was a sign to speak your highest truth.
Today is the first day of spring break for all the kids here Atlanta, late last night storms came through helping to wash the pollen away. I hope everyone enjoys this upcoming weekend.
Mermaid Basking in the Sun is a new painting for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy Shop. This a my second attempt at painting a mermaid, the first was set in a moonlit scene. This time I felt like painting a mermaid enjoying the warmth of the sun.
When I was younger I loved the idea and stories of mermaids, perhaps because my twin sister and I swam all summer long and felt at home under water. Once I started snorkeling and saw the beauty of the tropical fish and coral, I could easily imagine mermaids swimming about.
With the earth having three quarters of it’s surface covered in water, it makes sense that cultures around the world have myths of mermaids. In general, mermaids are portrayed as beautiful, mysterious and powerful creatures. I’m pleased with my painting, she turned out nicely.
Spring is in full force here in Atlanta, it’s beautiful. Wishing everyone a happy Easter 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.
I’ve just completed Mom’s Majolica Pitcher with Tuxie in honor of Mom’s birthday which is today. For years now I’ve been painting a yearly still life for Mom. This one features her lovely majolica pitcher. Mom collected all kinds of antiques and she had a beautiful collection of majolica earthenware pottery which she kept on shelves in her kitchen. They were colorful and distinctively decorated with natural motifs. I think it was the natural motifs that attracted Mom to the pieces as she loved the natural world herself.
When I set the pitcher up in my studio to begin the painting, Tuxie, our cat, jumped up on the table and made himself at home around the pitcher. This tickled me so I called my daughter, a good photographer, over and she quickly took some photos which I used to sketch him in. Tuxie is not the most handsome of cats but he has a wonderfully quirky personality and we love him dearly. I tried to capture his funny look.
I wanted this year’s painting to be a happy one full of color and chose a cobalt blue table cover to include Mom’s favorite color. If Mom were here, I think she would be pleased because all of her daughters and their families are in happy, contented places now. This makes me very happy also. I hope everyone is having a great start to this year!