Squirrels in Spring is my most recent painting, A few years ago I painted a lone squirrel on a tree branch with the brilliant fall foliage that I had seen from my upstairs studio window. This time around I thought it would be fun to do a spring scene with more than one squirrel.
With spring is in full force here in Atlanta, all the squirrels are busy scampering through the trees like acrobats. I imagine they are happy with the cold weather gone and are enjoying the abundant food sources. The other day I saw a mom run over to rescue her young one who cried out for her as my cat looked on from our screened porch. She carried her from the nape of the young one’s neck and quickly disappeared under a fence into my neighbor’s yard. On my walk I counted nine busy squirrels in a tree shaded front yard, This time of year I also notice the lovely bright light greens of the new leaves contrasted with the tree trunks and limbs in the sunlight. So beautiful. I tried to reflect this in my my painting.
My twin sister likes the symbol of the industrious and social squirrel which is another reason I chose to do this painting, as I am rotating an abstract with my more “realistic” paintings. There is such a strong force of life this time of year in nature, I hope all are enjoying the season.
I’ve just completed a new painting, Black Bear Emerging in Spring. I’ve done lots of wildlife paintings but have never tried my hand at a bear until now. I wanted to get the feeling of the bear just coming out of hibernation and into the beauty of spring. It took me a while to get the pose of the bear that I felt worked, I wanted him moving and looking imposing.
Years ago, I spent a year living in a small farmhouse on a mountainside outside Asheville, NC. One spring afternoon I climbed way up the mountain behind our house, higher than I usually hiked and sat on a rock to write in my journal. Suddenly I heard thunderous sounding footsteps coming from the area above my rock, When I turned around to see what it was, the sound stopped. I quickly packed up my journal and hightailed it down the mountain. I knew it was a black bear who was probably just as surprised to see me as I was to hear him.
I feel that when we humans come upon bears, their massiveness can invoke a powerful feeling of awe. Perhaps this is why the bear as a spirit animal or totem is one of the most ancient worshiped animals. I looked up the symbolism of bears and it’s what you would imagine: strength, courage and protection. It’s been unseasonably warm here but cold weather is coming back; let’s hope the real spring will be here a bit later to enjoy like this bear!
The Lion and Lamb is a new painting that I made for my twin sister. She has always loved the idea and image of the lion laying down with the lamb. She asked me to do this painting because she is in the process of putting together a daily devotional that she will be publishing soon. It will feature spiritual writings of hers for each day of the year. She’s shared her writings through the years with her friends who have found them moving and helpful in their lives; and they have encouraged her to put them in a devotional in order to help reach others. Now she has decided to go ahead and do just that! She asked me do the lion and lamb painting for book cover.
I was happy to support her and also excited for her new venture. In the painting I wanted the lion to look strong and kind with the little lamb feeling sheltered and cared for. Happily, when she saw it, she was pleased. Now she is working on the finishing touches of the devotional and within a couple of months it will be available on Kindle! I’ll post the link here when it’s ready. I’m excited for her and know that it will reach and help many people.
I’ve just completed Ode to Chocolate. This painting is a sweet valentine to our childhood family dog, a standard poodle named Chocolate. My twin sister and I grew up with him; he was such a sweetie, he soaked up all the loving attention we gave him.
He was the second standard poodle our family had, the first, Impy had been stolen a few years earlier. My dad had trained him to hunt and always said Impy was the best hunting dog he had ever had. Standard poodles are fun, intelligent and make great hunting dogs. Unfortunately for Chocolate, while still a puppy, the boys next door threw a firecracker over the backyard wall which when he went to fetch, it exploded in his face. After that point he was a bit emotionally wounded as he understandably became more timid and very frightened of any loud sounds. Sadly for my dad, he was never able to train him to hunt.
Dad used to say he became a mamma’s boy. Mom did a good job of caring for him, she had a book on various poodle hair cut styles, I remember her shaving him with an electric shaver. As we got older we would help give him baths. In those days dogs ran free, Chocolate would go in and out whenever he liked, ringing the bells on the door to let us know. We spent a lot of time outside in the yard playing with him. Most nights he would be in next to one of our beds sleeping. I have such happy memories of Chocolate and all the love he gave us.
I have just completed a new painting, Bounding Bunny. The lovely springlike weather we are enjoying here in Atlanta has inspired me to have some fun playing with color around a leaping cottontail rabbit. I’m pleased with the sense of movement that the painting conveys.
When looking back at a similar painting done last year, Two Rabbits in the Meadow; I remember my struggle with the foreground, having to rework it many times. I prefer the new painting, there’s more movement in the sky and the little bunny is leaping. This new painting came together easily.
As I wrote before, the rabbit symbolizes good luck and abundance. In the past few days I’ve sold four items from my two etsy shops, which is encouraging as Etsy sales had slowed down last year. I’ve also gotten new framed prints up at the Fly Biscuit Cafes. I have some other ideas for marketing and like this bunny I am ready to leap ahead. March is here which means spring is just around the corner. I hope all are enjoying these days!
Two Rabbits in the Meadow is a painting that I made for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy Shop back in early June. I thought of doing a new rabbit painting after spotting a little rabbit ahead of me on a path during my morning walk. I decided then that it would be fun to do a new whimsical painting which I could add to the animals in the meadow series.
I looked up the symbolic meaning of spotting a rabbit in a google search. Seeing a rabbit can mean more abundance may be coming but one needs to face their fear and know when to make their move. This made sense to me personally. During the spring season I was involved with marketing with the May art show and also updating my art work at the Flying Biscuit Cafes. Once my daughter came home from college for the summer and my husband got very busy with work, I got distracted and unfocused.
It felt good to get back to painting but now I’m ready to move forward with the marketing. Tonight I’m going to a small art and food truck event, getting myself back out there. Looks like it’s going to be a beautiful hot day and I’m hoping for no evening showers.
I was feeling happy and upbeat last week and felt liking painting a bluebird. I painted one a few years ago that was loosely based on a vintage post card. We have bluebirds in our neighborhood and I love watching them soar about on my walks. The bluebird symbolizes joy.
Here in Atlanta like much of the country we are already having mild spring-like weather, birds are chirping and beginning to pair up and flowers are blooming. I even mowed our lawn last Wednesday. A Facebook friend of mine posted a picture which said “What a lovely spring we are having this winter,” which brought smile to my face but at the same time I wondered what kind of summer we are going to have in Hotlanta. Regardless, it’s hard not to be happy with this wonderful spring-like weather.
In Bluebird in Flight the joyful bird is flying over the meadow with the sun shining above. I so enjoyed painting it, layering the various colors on and seeing what came about. I hope that joy is reflected in the painting.
Robin Among the Dogwood Flowers is a new painting for my bird series. It seems that around this time of year I’m usually inspired to paint spring scenes. Spring here in Atlanta is breathtaking and each day brings new colors as the various plants awaken. In the past few weeks the dogwoods are taking their turn with their bright white flowers lighting up the landscape.
The robins are back in the hood. Last week a robin landed just outside my kitchen window where I had long close up look at him. Right then I decided it would be fun to paint a robin. One thing I love about painting is that it helps me to observe more closely the the world around me. On my walks through the neighborhood, I focused on observing the robins and dogwoods as I worked on this painting.
Robins symbolize renewal and hope as they are one of the first birds to return in spring. Some Native American tribes saw the robin’s red chest and bright yellow break as a symbol of the dawning of the sun. The yellow beak symbolized the rays of the sun and when seeing a robin it was a sign to speak your highest truth.
Today is the first day of spring break for all the kids here Atlanta, late last night storms came through helping to wash the pollen away. I hope everyone enjoys this upcoming weekend.
Cardinal in the Garden is a new painting of mine. Last week I spotted a male and female cardinal hopping about on our roof; there will be baby birds chirping in a nest nearby soon. Cardinals are such striking song birds. On Mother’s day I felt like painting a new song bird since I was thinking about mom.
My parents loved to garden, dad transplanted eight or so dogwoods from the countryside and in the early spring the yard was gorgeous with those dogwoods in full bloom and pink azaleas below. The songbirds that gathered on the bird feeders in in their garden kept my parents entertained while they sat in the sun room. This new painting is in honor of mom and dad who through their care and love of the natural world around them passed that love on to me. Thank you!
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.