I am pleased to be the Artist of the Month for May at the Phoenix and Dragon Bookstore here in Atlanta. It’s given me the opportunity to honor my Mom. Every year around her birthday I do a painting in her memory and some are showcased in the show. As the years go on I realize how my Mom’s creativity inspired me to become an artist. I am happy that I can honor her in this way. The poster and photos of the opening are below. The show is going on through May. Happy Mother’s Day!
Mom and Baby Beluga Whale is a new painting for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy Shop. I wanted to do a new sea life painting with a mom and baby. It’s been fun to paint the two whales and figure out how to bring in the light through the water.
I was the girl scout leader for my girl’s troop through her fifth grade, our big end of the year event was a sleep over at the Atlanta Aquarium which had recently opened. The girls were thrilled. We got the “behind the scenes” tour and to do lots of fun activities through the night. My favorite spot was by the window with a view into the large Beluga Whale tank. There were two whales that would swim by and look at us. They are graceful and seemed very gentle and curious about our kids. Later in the night we set up our sleeping bags in the river otter section which was something, they came alive at night calling each other and diving in and out of the water. It was great fun to watch, though we didn’t get any sleep.
In this painting the Beluga Whales are free and not in captivity. Recently the Georgia Aquarium has decided to no longer will take whales or dolphins caught in the wild, they need to be with larger family groups and able to swim free. Times are changing as we become more aware.
Last April we went to a family wedding in Hawaii. One of the highlights of our vacation was swimming with dolphins. While snorkeling at a coral reef I looked over to see a pair of dolphins swim by. We swam out to where there were more and watched them frolic. They were so playful and the beauty of the light through the clear blue water reflecting on their bodies was striking. Here is a photo that my niece took of them.
I have always loved dolphins. Throughout my childhood every year our family went to St. Simons Island off the coast of Georgia for a week in late August. We used to fish at the Point – a lovely spot where the beach met the marsh. I remember fishing on the rocks there and just waiting to see the dolphins that occasionally passed through. It was very exciting to spot them, they seemed so joyful and free.
Through the years I’ve dreamed about dolphins. As a kid I liked gymnastics but could never get past my fear of doing back handsprings. My dad said it was because I was so tall and had a big head; whatever the case, I never mastered it. I remember a powerful dream that I had in my twenties when I was going through a particularly tough time and feeling a lack of confidence. In the dream a group of dolphins swam around me and helped me do a back handspring. With their help it was so easy to do and I woke up feeling they had given me a gift.
Since getting back from Hawaii, I’ve been inspired to paint them, the painting below is my third one. Dolphins are a great example of just how joyful life can be. It is my hope that these paintings help convey that joy.