In continuing the theme of painting abstract planets, I decided to paint Mercury. Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system, just slightly larger than earth’s moon. It is the closest planet to the sun and takes just 88 days to make its trip around the sun. Because of this, from our view here on earth, it appears that mercury always travels close to the sun at a fast speed. Perhaps that’s why the ancients saw Mercury is the messenger of the gods. The actual color of mercury is a brownish grey but in astrology mercury’s color is symbolized as an emerald green.
I chose green for mercury’s color. Because mercury is zippy and small, I pictured it in my mind that it had a texture of the inside of a golf ball with rubber bands tightly wound together. I painted lines going all different directions overlaying each other as if they were communicating.
A few years back when I was going through my dad’s coin collection, I loved looking at the old mercury dimes. As a Greek god, Mercury was the messenger of the gods and had a winged hat and winged shoes; but he also was the patron of commerce which is why he must have been featured on the silver dime. He often carried a caduceus in his left hand. A caduceus is a a wand with two snakes twined around it with wings on top. He was somewhat of a magician and could do magic with the caduceus, with a touch of the wand he could heal illness and turn metal into gold
I decided to paint mercury close to the large sun with the caduceus symbol between them. I painted the caduceus upside down so it would be fairly subtle. I enjoyed learning about mercury and some of the mythology, it helps me to focus on a theme as paint these abstracts.
The last painting of the crow and dove reminded me of the time, as a park ranger, I led a program where I told stories of animal myths from different cultures. While researching for that program I had seen many wonderful animal illustrations in children’s books and decided it would be fun to do an animal series in my abstract style. Swimming Turtle is my first attempt, it’s actually my fourth turtle painting.
Last weekend when a certain politician in the news was compared to a turtle on my twitter feed, my reaction was that was a grave injustice to turtles everywhere. I love turtles and feel fortunate when I spot one in nature. In Native American lore the earth was called “turtle island,” from a tale that the turtle carried the earth on it’s back. In this painting I have the turtle swimming through space.
This week I felt like painting something light hearted so I chose Ganeshas my subject. Ganesh is one of the most worshiped gods of the Hindu Religion. He helps to destroy selfishness and vanity and to remove obstacles in one’s path. He brings good luck and fortune as he represents the material universe with all it’s many manifestations. His elephant head represents super intelligence, his one tusk represents being focused and his large tummy symbolizes digesting both the good and bad peacefully.
One of my sisters who has an elephant collection has always liked Ganesh. Years ago I made her a papier mache bowl with a painting of Ganesh on it. She still has it and it makes me feel good whenever I go up to visit her and see it. Her partner liked the white elephant that I painted last year and mentioned that he would like a Ganesh note card to give to his Indian friends at work, so that’s the plan. I’ll make some note cards of this to give to him for Christmas.
It seems to me that Ganesh knows how to relax and enjoy life, which helps to bring good luck. That is something we westerners could learn and benefit from. Here in Georgia the schools have already started up in what used to be the lazy last days of summer. In our home, my husband has just gotten a large job and will be working like crazy all month so we’ll just have to make do and relax when we can. I hope that everyone can carve out some relaxing time during these last days of Summer.
I’ve just completed Pegasus, a new painting to add to the mythic creature series for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy Shop. Instead of painting a white Greek Pegasus, I thought it would be fun to paint an Native American born appaloosa horse flying over the southwestern mountains at sunset. According to Greek mythology, Pegasus was born from the blood of Medusa as she was beheaded by Perseus. He guarded sacred places. As a spirit guide he represents the creative power in all of us. He symbolizes the beauty we bring to ourselves and others.
Phoenix Rising is a new painting for my Heni’s Happy Paintings etsy shop. The phoenix is a powerful mythical bird that recreates its own life from the flames and ashes of the past and arises to be reborn to fly again. Lately some of my friends and family members have been going through some very tough times including; serious health, relationship and financial issues. It helps me to think of the phoenix myth and trust that they will be OK. We have all been and will go through very challenging times in our lives. Those big challenges can help us grow to become clearer and stronger in our lives. From these experiences we can go forward with a new sense of ourselves, like the fiery phoenix rising from the ashes.