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.
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.
Here is my most recent abstract painting titled Resonance. It is a visual continuation of my thoughts on the wave-particle duality theory that I was reading about during the last painting. One idea that struck me was the description of the principle of resonance that states that when two frequencies are brought together, the lower will ALWAYS rise to meet the higher. An example of this was explained by dropping a pebble in a lake with the waves moving out from the center joining another expanding wave.
From that idea I started the painting with expanding waves of color. I then added a few particles. Another idea presented helped me get a picture of how all this works is that we can think of atoms being like little tornadoes, mostly space. All of us, in fact everything is made of mostly space that’s always spinning! Toward the end of the painting I added the spiral, thinking of the spiral energy of a tornado.
The past couple of weeks here is the USA have been intense. I think that people are finally coming into resonance that our system here is unjust and especially so for blacks and that this needs to change. I believe in the power we all have to look at our shadows of our past, own them and start to imagine and then build new systems that will work for all of us.