We’ve just had another long week of ice and snow. I live in the South for a reason, we’ve had quite enough of this cold snowy weather. I feel for the folks in the North, this winter has been brutal. I’ve spent the snowy days dreaming of the warm Caribbean while working on a new fish painting, Red Fish in the Tropics. In this painting I’ve tried to capture the magic one sees while snorkeling along coral reefs. I love the way sound is muted and yet you see movement everywhere. The light bounces through the water and brightens the vivid colors of the fish while the schools of fish swim along in the same direction ready at any moment to dart off on a different course. You usually see one of two larger fish floating along with the current moving a bit slower. I worked many hours on this painting trying to get that feeling, by layering the light to get the sense of movement and adding lots a bright details to the fish and coral. The painting still doesn’t capture it fully but I didn’t want it to be too over worked and am fairly pleased. Let’s hope spring in the Northern hemisphere will come sooner than later. Until then we can dream…
I’ve just completed painting Two Dolphins in the Moonlight for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy shop. Many years ago I did a watercolor painting of four dolphins playing in the full moonlit sea that I gave to my twin sister. She still has it hanging in her home. Now that I’m doing acrylic paintings, I thought it might be fun to try a new moonlit dolphin scene. Last week I was going back and forth with a woman who really liked one of my double fish prints but wanted a custom ordered size, which led me to think about painting a double dolphin scene. I combined those two ideas and and this painting is the result. It was fun to use lots of bright colors contrasting with the darks of the ocean and sky. I want to continue along this whimsical path, tomorrow I plan to start a flying fish painting. We’ll see how that goes.
Last week was a very happy time in our extended family. My niece gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She’s the first baby of this new generation, my daughter is no longer the youngest. Even though my niece lives on the West Coast; when she went into labor we all felt very connected through text messages, emails, and FB status updates my sister sent from the moment my niece went into labor to the joy of her baby being born. I’m also very happy for my sister and her husband, the new grandparents, who say they are “over the moon” with joy. I’m addicted to looking at all the cute photos that arrive on FB and email. One great thing about our times is that we can stay to connected to loved ones thanks to technology.
A while back I told my sister that I would do a painting for my niece for her baby. She emailed me that my niece was decorating the nursery with the Beatrice Potter’s Peter Rabbit theme. Such a sweet idea, my family had the whole set of Beatrice Potter books with the little baby blue book shelf which we all loved. I thought to myself that I really didn’t want to copy Beatrice Potter’s lovely illustrations, no way to top her. For Christmas I sent my niece a small print of my lamb painting. After the baby came I felt inspired to do a new little bunny painting in the same style of my lambs. It’s been very fun to be back to painting and for such a happy event. So this painting is for you – little Stratton Mary and for your mom and dad! I hope it will serve as a nice memory of what a special time your birth was and how we all were so happy when you arrived!
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/
Into the sea is a favorite painting of mine. August is almost here and my daughter is gearing up to go back to school in two weeks which seems strange to me. The hot dog days of August during my childhood is when my family would pack up the station wagon complete with Chocolate, our standard poodle and head to the beach for a couple of weeks. I have so many fond memories of those beach vacations. We rented a cottage at St. Simons Island just off the Georgia coast. Looking back on it, I realize how much work it was for my parents, mom packed all the sheets and towels needed and when we got to Brunswick just prior to crossing the big bridge, we would stop at the Winn Dixie to pick up a week’s worth groceries. She planned and cooked most of the meals except for our one dinner out at the Crap Trap. Of course with four daughters mom got lots of help and a big part of the fun was the fishing, clamming and crabbing that led to nightly seafood feasts.
Each day just prior to low tide we would go to a beautiful spot called the Point, where the beach met the marshes. Here we would fish, clam and crab. We’d take turns canoeing way back into the marsh creeks for the best clamming. The Point was teeming with life; from fiddle crabs, to dolphin that passed through, herons and cranes that fished near us, and even sea otters that scampered through the rocks.
Crabbing was one of the highlights; we easily filled a bushel a day. The crabs we caught were tenacious; I was always a bit frightened of them but I must say there is no better eating than fresh boiled crab. We kept going there for years, my nieces and nephews joined us, in fact my husband and I got married there. It is such a special place in my heart.
I painted this portrait in honor of the blue crab and all those happy memories.
Into the Sea print available here.
At last, spring is in full force here in Atlanta. The flowers are blooming and the tree leaves are out with their lovely light green color so striking against the bright blue sky. I have been spending the past week working in our yard; starting to tame all the overgrowth. Even though I have a degree in landscape architecture, I’ve never been much of a gardener. A few years ago we put in some large flower beds and planted a few smaller flowering and evergreen trees that now are helping to define our yard; but with no attention, the English ivy, poison ivy and blackberry brambles had taken over. I’m learning the lesson that with care early in the season, when the ground is moist and mosquitoes not out yet, gardening can actually be kind of fun. I’m planting perennials where the weeds were along with mulch hoping to encourage a lovely, easily maintained garden.
I painted Blue Bird in Spring last spring. It was fun to paint, I tried to make it look like an old vintage postcard symbolizing spring. On my walks I often see bluebirds flying about. The bluebird symbolizes joy. When I was young the bluebirds had disappeared. People began to make an effort to bring them back by putting up bird houses in their yards and meadows. The bluebirds returned; it’s encouraging to realize how resilient nature is. I painted this bluebird to remind me of how joyful and resilient life can be!
Print available here:
Love lights up the world…with its generous flames.
Ralph Waldo Emerson