I’ve painted many dolphins over the years and this week was inspired to paint a new one which I’ve titled Two Sunlit Dolphins. I like painting double fish because it reminds me of my relationship with my twin sister. We are identical and born during the double fish sign of Pisces. I don’t remember not knowing how to swim, we spent our summers swimming every day. On our family beach vacations we looked for dolphins out in the waves and were thrilled when spotting them. I love the way dolphins always seem happy and carefree.
I had done a painting of two dolphins in the moonlight so I decided with this painting to make it a day time scene. I enjoyed figuring out how to show the sunlight and using my favorite aqua green colors. It’s a fun light painting that I think works pretty well.
I’ve just completed a new painting, Black Bear Emerging in Spring. I’ve done lots of wildlife paintings but have never tried my hand at a bear until now. I wanted to get the feeling of the bear just coming out of hibernation and into the beauty of spring. It took me a while to get the pose of the bear that I felt worked, I wanted him moving and looking imposing.
Years ago, I spent a year living in a small farmhouse on a mountainside outside Asheville, NC. One spring afternoon I climbed way up the mountain behind our house, higher than I usually hiked and sat on a rock to write in my journal. Suddenly I heard thunderous sounding footsteps coming from the area above my rock, When I turned around to see what it was, the sound stopped. I quickly packed up my journal and hightailed it down the mountain. I knew it was a black bear who was probably just as surprised to see me as I was to hear him.
I feel that when we humans come upon bears, their massiveness can invoke a powerful feeling of awe. Perhaps this is why the bear as a spirit animal or totem is one of the most ancient worshiped animals. I looked up the symbolism of bears and it’s what you would imagine: strength, courage and protection. It’s been unseasonably warm here but cold weather is coming back; let’s hope the real spring will be here a bit later to enjoy like this bear!
Lamb in the Meadow is a painting I completed this week for my twin sister to use as an illustration for her devotional. My friend, who is an excellent graphic artist and an experienced self-publisher is working with her to format the devotional for publishing. She had the idea to include illustrations in grey-tone from some of my paintings on the pages with the chapter headings and such.
For one of the sections, my sister wanted a lamb laying in the meadow along a path in the same style as Fox in the Hillside, a painting I’d done years ago. It took me a while to sketch out the lamb in a relaxed manner but once I got that done, it was fun to look back at the fox painting to get the same elements of the flowers and sun.
The book is coming together:, she’s completed the editing and they are almost done with the formatting. I have a few more images to paint for them which I’m hoping to finish this weekend. Because it is a daily devotional, she has decided to publish in early fall so people will be able to have it in time for the new year. I’m so impressed with her writings and just how professional it is looking. It’s all very exciting and I’m happy to be involved.
Squares is a painting that I finished up this weekend. It’s my first experiment with abstract painting which is something I had been thinking of doing for a while now. To have a focus I decided to paint squares in continuing the idea of 2020 being a 4 year because squares having 4 sides. I started painting squares of various colors and sizes and began overlaying with more squares and scratching back to show the colors underneath. It was challenging since I wasn’t quite sure of how to proceed and began to look muddy but I moved through the frustration and was able to pull colors out. I found myself wanting to expand squares to rectangles but stuck with the equal sided square. After a while it started coming together and I like the result.
The overlay of the colors making new colors along with the the scratch back through the colors reminded me of batik wall hangings I made for friends and family years ago. One thing I loved about batik was you never know how the colors would blend and end up. In this painting I ended up with these vivid colors which I love. I think I will start a new abstract now with colors I don’t generally use as another experiment and skip all the squares.
They are slowly starting to open things up here in Georgia, I have mixed feelings about that and am hoping that the vulnerable don’t pay the price. Take care everyone!
We’ve been sheltering in place for about four weeks now. It’s getting tiresome, but at least the spring season is beautiful here. With the loud city sounds gone, the quiet brings back memories of an earlier time, a sense of calmness prevails. On my daily walks it’s easier to notice the birds singing and it’s also fun to see so many young families out and about.
Prior to the pandemic I had planned to get more framed prints out into local cafes and yoga studios and also to seek out galleries that may want to show my originals, now with all that on hold, I’ve got plenty of time to paint. Sooner than Later is my newest painting. Can you tell it was inspired by the pandemic?
I love painting both doves and crows and this is my third painting with both together. I view doves as a symbol of peace and crows as a symbol of magic and transformation. It was fun to paint, I spent hours playing with colors of the orbs within the sky. The particles we breathe in and out connect us all, for better or worse.
I wanted to do an uplifting painting using both light and darkness. Covid-19 is revealing dark outdated systems that don’t work for the welfare of all. Hopefully, sooner that later, our world will change for the better; with more peace, less war; more harmony, less destruction of our natural world and more equality for all people throughout the world.
I’ve just completed Ode to Chocolate. This painting is a sweet valentine to our childhood family dog, a standard poodle named Chocolate. My twin sister and I grew up with him; he was such a sweetie, he soaked up all the loving attention we gave him.
He was the second standard poodle our family had, the first, Impy had been stolen a few years earlier. My dad had trained him to hunt and always said Impy was the best hunting dog he had ever had. Standard poodles are fun, intelligent and make great hunting dogs. Unfortunately for Chocolate, while still a puppy, the boys next door threw a firecracker over the backyard wall which when he went to fetch, it exploded in his face. After that point he was a bit emotionally wounded as he understandably became more timid and very frightened of any loud sounds. Sadly for my dad, he was never able to train him to hunt.
Dad used to say he became a mamma’s boy. Mom did a good job of caring for him, she had a book on various poodle hair cut styles, I remember her shaving him with an electric shaver. As we got older we would help give him baths. In those days dogs ran free, Chocolate would go in and out whenever he liked, ringing the bells on the door to let us know. We spent a lot of time outside in the yard playing with him. Most nights he would be in next to one of our beds sleeping. I have such happy memories of Chocolate and all the love he gave us.
Black Panther is a new painting for my large jungle cat collection. I wanted him to look powerful as he prowls through the rainforest on a full moon night contrasting with the colorful foliage surrounding him.
The panther is a general term for a large black feline. In Asia, they are solid black leopards, while in the Americas they are black jaguars. Their color caused by genetics in which the normal orange spots are black, making them extremely rare. Panthers are intelligent and agile and seldom seen by humans as they are very quiet and cautious.
In reading about the symbolism of the panther I learned that the panther is closely associated with the power of night and the dark moon. It is the symbol of a protective mother. The panther spirit animal stands for power and protection.
Though it’s the end of summer, here in Atlanta we’ve had hot dry weather for weeks now, I’m more than ready for fall to arrive. I hope all are enjoying the last days of the season.
King Elephant is a painting I made in June around Father’s Day. I woke up one morning and decided to paint a large African elephant. Only afterwards did I realize it was a compliment painting to the Mom and Baby Elephant that I had done four years prior when my daughter was about to start her freshmen year of college. She graduated from college this May. He is the father elephant. I love it when it’s only later my conscious mind catches up to my impulse to paint a subject, that’s part of the magic of art. I had been thinking of how hard my husband worked those four years to support her financially and also that he was there for her, always believing in her and supporting her ability to forge her own path.
I chose the name “King Elephant” after a game that our extended family used to play whenever we got together during the holidays and summer beach trips. Everyone would play including my parents and the young children. My brother-in-law would always start the game as the lead King Elephant. We all loved playing it.
With the advent of the “me too” movement and seeing the misuse of power by men in politics and other areas, it is heartening to see that that my husband and brother-in-laws have done their best to be balanced good men; involved and supportive dads and husbands. I appreciate them and all the men that strive to be aware and balanced.
Jellyfish Bloom is a painting that I’ve just completed for my sea life series. I chose to paint a bloom of jellyfish for a couple of reasons. First, they are beautiful translucent ocean creatures which I thought would be an interesting challenge to try to capture. The second and main reason was the jellyfish has been on my mind is because they simply float through water getting all their needs met, their venomous tentacles stun their prey and also protect them from predators.
Lately I’ve been feeling that I need to chill more, honor my own boundaries and get back into what I enjoy most – painting. Last fall I worked long hours on a couple of projects in an effort to bring in more money with my art. I have to say all that expenditure of energy and work did not pay off too well. The online art shop was fun to create and I enjoyed learning a bit of Photoshop but I need to market it for the shop to be seen and I’m not sure if anyone really needs another mug, t-shirt, etc.
So I’m going to float like a jellyfish and let new ideas come to light that will be a better match for my art and also bring money in.
It’s been a busy season, a couple of Sundays ago we had the yearly neighborhood artist holiday open house at my home. I enjoy decorating my home as it gets me into the Christmas spirit. Several artist friends and their lovely art fill the downstairs during the show. It was a sunny mild day with lots of people stopping by; everyone seemed to do well. The following Monday I took time to restock my framed prints over at the Flying Biscuit Cafes.
Now I’m back to painting. I’ve just completed Leo the Lion. I had painted the Lion’s Gatea while back but this time I wanted to paint a large lion as if the solar light was shining on and from him. The sun rules Leo and the Lion is it’s symbol. I have a good friend, a Leo who is having serous health issues. I admire his strength, to me, he seems gallant the way he has handled his degenerative illness and continues to be present and loving with his family.
Many years ago on Christmas, my twin sister and I received the set of books, The Chronicles ofNarnia by C.S. Lewis which we read over the winter break. Both of us loved the series as the writing was imaginative and magical. I especially loved the Aslan, the lion. He was the majestic guide, strong and kind. I pictured him in my mind as he took the children for rides on his back. How safe and secure they felt. In the film that came out a few years back, the lion was much smaller than I imagined. The lion I painted is how I see him.