Uranus is my most recent painting and the final one in my abstract planet series. In these paintings, I like to imagine that the planets are connected with the surrounding waves of colorful energy and smaller spheres all moving through space together. I’m so enjoying getting back to painting and this one was a fun to do.
Uranus is the seventh planet out from our sun and takes 84 years to travel around the sun. It is a blue ice gas giant and is the coldest planet in the solar system. A full day on Uranus is 17 hours and it spins west to east unlike most of the other planets. Another unique fact is the Uranus’s axis is 99 degrees which means that it rotates on its side, so it spins like a ball rolling down a hill. I tried to show this as I painted Uranus with the light from the sun on the right side and the ring almost perpendicular on the page.
Uranus was discovered in 1781 and is named after the Greek god Uranus who was the god of the sky. In astrology Uranus rules the sign of Aquarius and it symbolizes the rebel, the outsider and the genius of the heavens. Since it was discovered at the time of the French and American Revelations, this planet has been correlated with independence, and breaking old structures.
Black Hole is the newest painting for my abstract outer space series. It’s darker than a lot of my paintings. With the challenging world events going I was in the mood to bring in more darkness contrasting with the light. I experimented with various colors, playing with dark planets contrasting with the light and the lighter planets against the dark space. I like the way the black hole looks a like an eye.
It’s horrific and shocking viewing what is happening in the Ukraine, the brutality of Putin’s war all over social media for everyone to see. It seems that the whole world may be coming together to say no more, I hope anyway. I’m beginning a new painting to distract myself and continue to hope for a peaceful resolution.
Jupiter is a new painting for my planet series. I started this painting a few months ago and have only now completed it. We were busy during the holidays and prior to that were updating our kitchen, opening up a wall to the dining room and then I painted the upstairs hallway and my daughter’s room, which had been a bright purple color from all the way back to her middle school days.
It felt good to get the house updates accomplished but I’m happy to get back to painting. Last weekend while waiting on the snow storm I started reworking this painting. It’s done now and I’m ready to start a fresh painting.
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun and is the largest planet of the solar system. It is a gas giant with lower density than earth and covered with rapidly moving bands of white and brownish storm clouds. Jupiter has four large moons and more than seventy smaller moons. The famous red spot is a big storm that is the size of Earth.
Jupiter as the largest planet was named after the Roman king of the gods who ruled the sky and thunder and was in charge of laws and social order. In astrology Jupiter represents the principles of growth and expansion.
Here is a new painting for my planet series. Pluto is the furthest planet out from the sun and takes 248 years to complete its orbit. It was discovered in 1930. Because it was so far away from the sun and very cold Pluto was named after the Roman god of the underworld, he was the judge of death but also the god of wealth because of the metals and riches that lie underground. Pluto is considered a dwarf planet because it is so small. Although Pluto is small, in astrology Pluto is a powerful planet of transformation that rules the astrological sign of Scorpio.
With all that in mind, I decided to paint Pluto small in a rich dark red color. The brightness around it symbolizes the riches of the god Pluto. This painting is darker than the others because it’s far from the sun with no other planets in sight. I used layers and layers of paint. I’m fairly pleased and will start a new painting this weekend.
Saturn is a new painting for my planet series. You may be wondering why I chose grayish color. In ancient times Saturn was associated with lead; it was said that alchemists could lead turn into gold. I liked the idea of painting Saturn as a lead sphere; it brought to my mind happy memories of fishing with my Dad, as we would use small lead balls that we would press on the fishing line to help the baited hook sink. I used to love to fish, it’s been a long time now, but we fished throughout our childhood.
Speaking of dads, Saturn in astrology can represent the father but it also represents a taskmaster type energy. Its placement can be challenging in childhood but over time if worked through it becomes a strength. In the painting I made the rings bright yellow as if they were gold. Years ago, I had a housemate who in her childhood had a recurring dream where she would be hanging out on one of Saturn’s rings feeling loved and accepted. I thought that was so interesting. She was a Capricorn, which is the sign Saturn rules.
I used lots of color to complement the gray color of Saturn. I wonder if there is more color throughout space that one day, we will be able to see. I’m pleased with the painting and like that it’s a little different from the other planets in a Saturn type way. My friend has invited me to the Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience here in Atlanta the weekend which I’m looking forward to. Happy weekend to all!
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.
In continuing the outer space theme, I chose to paint Mars. This idea came into my mind last week with all the news on the mars rover landing. I didn’t read or watch too much about it, but I did watch a video of the moment the rover landed when all the scientists and engineers at NASA stood up and cheered excited about their accomplishment. These moments in time seem to connect us all.
Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and so I painted a small sun as if one was looking from mars. Mars is named after the male Roman god of passion and war and is the ruling planet of the sun sign of Aries. Mars is known as the red planet because it appears as an orange red star in the sky. From the close-up photos we can see that mars has a rusty color due to the iron in the soil.
I chose the bright red color to help make the painting strong and graphic. While I used lots of circles and curves, I also included stronger triangle shapes to bring in the male aspect. One of the first abstracts I did last year named Dragons is a favorite of mine, beginner’s luck. In this painting I wanted to play with similar forms.
I’m pleased, it was fun to paint and is quite dramatic, like the planet mars, itself.
Sun with Two Black Holes is my painting for this week. As you can see, I have stayed with the sun theme and am also continuing to try to get a more spatial feel in the paintings. I used the black holes to bring in more atmosphere. The black color added a nice depth and provides contrast to the other colors.
I think black holes are fascinating, A black hole is caused by a star imploding on itself, if I understand it correctly. They have dense gravitational force that pulls objects in. There is no light within the black hole. I seem to remember from science fiction films that one can travel through time within a black hole. There’s so much to learn about space, both inner and outer. With all the hoopla on mars this week, I may paint mars next.
This weekend I get to spend time with my niece who is pregnant with her first baby at an outdoor baby shower. I’m so excited, my sister and other niece will also be there. I haven’t seen them since the pandemic started. We’ll all be wearing masks and social distancing which will be a bit strange. I just couldn’t pass up the chance to see my niece pregnant; her baby is due in late March. Hope everyone enjoys the weekend.
It’s a new year and I’m back to painting. El Sol is new abstract. I started with the large sun in the center and went from there; it’s not my favorite but it’s good to be back in the saddle. There is a certain resistance that sets in as weeks go by without painting, so I’m happy to have started up again. I got the idea to paint the sun after the last painting ,Orbs in Space, when a Facebook friend suggested I paint stars. I decide to start with painting our star that gives us life here on earth. This painting is actually my second attempt as the first one started to look overdone. I do like the second one better, it’s a happy painting with the bright warm colors.
This year is looking brighter. My daughter finally was able to fly to Vancouver for her graduate program at University of British Columbia. After a two-week quarantine, she’s settling in to her new home and is able to see a few of her fellow students that she’s gotten to know online though her classes. She’s texted me some photos of a trail where she jogs, a beautiful wooded trail just minutes from her dorm. We’re happy for her and glad that she’s been able to get back to some sense of normalcy.
With more time to paint now, I have a goal of doing art each day to keep the momentum going. My artist friend and I are going to help each other by texting each other an image of our progress each day. I hope each of you are having a good start to the year and I look forward to seeing your posts.
Here is a new abstract painting titled Neptune. In keeping with the idea of outer space that I started with my last painting, I decided this time to paint a planet using cooler colors. I chose Neptune because of it’s blue green color. Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun and is one of the gas giants which has no solid surface, instead the gas transitions into slushy ice and water. Neptune is named for the god of sea because of it’s blue color.
Unlike the Venus painting, this time I wanted Neptune to stand out but still have a lot of action going on around it which I think I succeeded in doing. The serpentine lines are fun as that brought to my mind dragons passing by.