The first day of spring has arrived! I think my Brand New Day dove painting represents the happiness of this time nicely with the sun returning. This is one of my most popular paintings, I just sold another large framed print at the Flying Biscuit Cafe and am framing a new one today to replace it.
Here in Atlanta the flowers are blooming, green grass is appearing, it feels like spring! During my time spent up north in Brooklyn, when spring arrived I wanted to see daffodils instead of the grey slush that I would inevitably step in. Those extra cold months were very challenging for me, just didn’t feel right. The first spring we spent back here in Atlanta after having lived in California for four years, I felt we were in a fairy land. I’d never really appreciated how breathtakingly beautiful spring was here. There’s an Indigo Girls song called Southland in the Spring Time, that describes the feeling well. Where ever you live I hope this spring season will be a joyful time for you.
I’ve been thinking about my pear paintings lately. They take me back to a point in time when I realized that I wanted to paint. Here is that memory. I was meeting a friend for coffee at a cafe, she and I both had our three year old girls in preschool a few days a week. It was a challenging time for me as my dad was in hospice care. Up until that time, no one close to me had died. I had never experienced the grief of losing a loved one before. My friend had lost her first husband and she was very understanding and helpful. I noticed there were framed pear still life watercolors on the walls around us. I had been making papier mache bowls which were very laborious and not selling as well in Atlanta as they had in San Francisco. I thought to myself, I could paint pears and it was at that moment in time that I decided to become a painter. Eventually my daughter went over to middle school and free time opened up. With no more Girl Scout leader or PTA obligations, I began painting every day.
Some of my first paintings were of pears which are pictured above. I love painting pears with their lovely feminine forms and beautiful warm colors. I think beginning painters paint pears because of their easier simple forms and the universal theme of pear still lifes through art history with so many well known pear paintings. Matisse’s pears come to mind. With some of my pear paintings I feel I had beginners luck, perhaps my happiness at more time to pursue my passion showed through.
This is a new painting I made because my niece Julia requested an Octopus. I had done three paintings of dolphins, one of which I thought Julia would like for Christmas since she had enjoyed swimming with them on our Hawaiian trip. When I showed them to her she said that she would rather have an octopus instead. I didn’t feel like painting an octopus as I think of them is being a bit creepy. I went shopping on Etsy and found a cute octopus necklace for her instead.
Once Julia had put the thought in my head I decided to go ahead and paint an octopus as I am wanting to add more kid friendly prints to my new shop . I also thought it would make for an interesting composition by creating different spaces with the unusual shape of an octopus and all of it’s legs. It was fun to paint and I’m fairly pleased with the result and now I am ahead for next Christmas!
It’s a gray winter day here in Atlanta but spring is just around the corner. The daffodils and cherry blossoms are already out. I’ve decided to post a painting that reminds me of spring. Years ago when I was visiting a friend in the countryside, he took me outside to a grassy area where he showed me a tiny fawn curled up in some tall grasses.. It must have been just a few days old, it was quite a privilege to witness.
In this painting, A Gentle Fawn, he is older and walking out of the woods into the sunny meadow as if taking his first tentative steps to independence.. I enjoy painting fawns; their gentle yet alert quality intrigues me.
Ever since I was lucky enough to spend two weeks on a fishing boat in the Caribbean and learned to snorkel, tropical fish have amazed me. It was magical to witness these vivid colored and various shaped fish gliding along as if choreographed in a backdrop of coral in light dappled aqua water.
I painted Caribbean Dreaminga couple of winters ago during a cold spell to lift my spirits. I find it freeing to paint fish because pretty much any thing goes, you can play by layering colors as the fish starts to appear and the background can also be just as colorful and layered.
This year January has been unseasonably warm but cold weather is sure to come for a bit and I will definitely take time to paint a new fish.
On twitter the other day, someone asked the question, “What are some of your earliest Christmas memories?” which got me thinking.
One of my early memories, so early that to me it seems dreamlike when I think about it, was riding the Pink Pig at Riches department store in downtown Atlanta. I must have been 3 years old. My twin sister and I probably rode it with my two older sisters while my parents shopped. The Pink Pig ride was up on a railing that went around the interior of the store, we could look down and see the shoppers below. Afterwards we got to visit with Santa Claus and then onto a red room where we picked out small gifts for our parents. The spring after this experience our family moved to Columbus Ga. Every year at Christmas, my older sisters would tell us that the “real” Santa was at Rich’s in Atlanta, which of course I believed.
A while back I had showing of my art work at the Phoenix and Dragon bookstore in Sandy Springs titled, “When Pigs Fly”. At the opening I was asked why I painted pigs. During that talk I remembered and realized that the Pink Pig memory was probably a big unconscious reason why I had chosen to paint pigs.
The painting above is called “When Pigs Fly” and it reminds me of the magic of this season. Wishing all a very magical holiday season!