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.
In the last few months I have been sorting through my father’s coin collection. Most of the coins are from the United States, including several early American ones. What struck me is that the early coins all have the image of Lady Liberty on them. One of the earliest from the 1700’s is named the Flowing Hair Liberty. There is another later coin where she is walking with the sun rising behind her. These Liberty coins are all very beautiful to me. Lady Liberty symbolized the freedom from tyranny – a nation free from cruel and oppressive government rulers. Her image stopped appearing on coins starting in the 1930’s as presidents and other male figures took her place.
With the shock that went through the world last week as it dawned on all that Trump had won the United States presidential election, it got me thinking about Lady Liberty. My ancestors fought for freedom in the Revolutionary war and I don’t know what they would think about our current time period. I feel we need a new revolution, one where we unite and heal our differences and work toward a future where all can thrive, including the beautiful planet that we live on.
Flowing Hair Liberty is the result of these feelings I have.
Here is my new painting, Floating Mermaid. It’s feels good to be back to painting as I have had a long break. In early May, I took a road trip with my twin sister up to New York City. We met up with my two other sisters in New Jersey at my aunt’s home and had such a great reunion, also enjoying visiting with cousins and my aunt. It had been over ten years since we had all been together. We then took the train into Manhattan and got to spend time with my daughter who was finishing up her freshman year at NYU. She loves being in the city and it was reassuring to see how she was thriving.
Once she came home for summer break, an opportunity opened up for her to spend five weeks in China teaching English and visiting with Chinese friends she had made at school. It was all very sudden and with me helping her get ready for her adventure and having her home I found it challenging to focus on my art.
She’s been in China a week now and is enjoying herself and I am back to painting. This floating mermaid is the result. In life there are times we have to let go, relax and trust. As a mom, I was nervous about my 18 year old girl traveling on her own half way around the world. At this point, part of my journey as a mom is to let go and trust my child’s own path in life. In this painting I wanted to show a mermaid relaxing in the water as the sun shines on her with the white dove of peace soaring above her, knowing all is well.
I hope all are enjoying summer, whether you are home relaxing or off on exciting adventures!
Peace Dove Rising is my new painting. Each year in honor of International Day of Peace (Sept. 21st) I paint a white dove. It’s a day is observed by people all over the world to encourage peace within and among nations. Last year’s painting was a night scene which I titled, Darkest Before Dawn because at that time things appeared bleak. This year I felt like painting a happy, uplifted dove. It seems to me that progress is being made. There have been new major agreements occurring between nations. Leaders, political and spiritual, are shining light on major problems in our world in which we the people can come together and solve.
My husband and I took our daughter up to New York City for college three weeks ago and are adjusting to being empty nesters, it feels good to be settling down a bit and getting back to painting. If you are interesting in learning more about the International Day of Peace and events occurring check out this link: http://www.internationaldayofpeace.org/
I wrote my first blog post a year ago today. I was nervous about starting a blog because I’m a pretty private person. I consoled myself thinking not many would read my writing anyway, we are all so busy, so I went ahead and decided to try it. I posted a crow painting and wrote a very personal piece in memory of my dad who was born on this date. What I’ve discovered surprisingly is that it has been fun to write and express the thoughts and stories behind my paintings. It’s been like jumping in to cold water, it starts warming up after a while. I’ve enjoyed connecting with other bloggers and following blogs that catch my interest. I feel a sense of community with people all over the world. I’m glad I took the plunge.
Speaking of my dad, I think he has been a big influence on why I enjoy writing. He grew up during the depression in Virginia before television. Time was slower then and his family would hang out playing music and listening to stories. He got the story telling gift; he was perfectly at ease being the center of attention and could tell a story that would keep anyone interested. My sisters and I heard fun stories about my dad’s childhood: like hunting for squirrels, or how he pretended to hate whipped cream because he got special attention for that, the way he swept mom off her feet when they first met, their fun first years together and on and on. My oldest sister was an english major in college and is a natural writer, she writes an excellent monthly astrology column, Heavenly Messages, which she posts on her website here. My twin sister is a gifted poet and is planning on publishing a daily Christian devotional soon. I think dad would be happy about his influence on us and I wonder what he would have thought about blogging. Happy birthday Dad, thanks!
The Little Prince is a new painting in my wild animal series that I made for my Heni’s Happy Paintings Etsy Shop.. This little lion cub is relaxed and basking in the sun. He looks a bit like our beloved cat, Tig, short for Tiger. Tig acts like a lion, he is full of confidence, easy going and he has strong sense of self love which he graciously offers to all people who approach him. We got Tig as a kitten for my girl’s fourth birthday and twelve years later they still have a very strong connection. My girl is a Leo, she understands and loves cats. In fact she turned my husband and me into cat lovers, we now have three kitties that keep us entertained.
A print of this colorful little lion cub would brighten any little Leo or cat lover’s bed room.
Into the sea is a favorite painting of mine. August is almost here and my daughter is gearing up to go back to school in two weeks which seems strange to me. The hot dog days of August during my childhood is when my family would pack up the station wagon complete with Chocolate, our standard poodle and head to the beach for a couple of weeks. I have so many fond memories of those beach vacations. We rented a cottage at St. Simons Island just off the Georgia coast. Looking back on it, I realize how much work it was for my parents, mom packed all the sheets and towels needed and when we got to Brunswick just prior to crossing the big bridge, we would stop at the Winn Dixie to pick up a week’s worth groceries. She planned and cooked most of the meals except for our one dinner out at the Crap Trap. Of course with four daughters mom got lots of help and a big part of the fun was the fishing, clamming and crabbing that led to nightly seafood feasts.
Each day just prior to low tide we would go to a beautiful spot called the Point, where the beach met the marshes. Here we would fish, clam and crab. We’d take turns canoeing way back into the marsh creeks for the best clamming. The Point was teeming with life; from fiddle crabs, to dolphin that passed through, herons and cranes that fished near us, and even sea otters that scampered through the rocks.
Crabbing was one of the highlights; we easily filled a bushel a day. The crabs we caught were tenacious; I was always a bit frightened of them but I must say there is no better eating than fresh boiled crab. We kept going there for years, my nieces and nephews joined us, in fact my husband and I got married there. It is such a special place in my heart.
I painted this portrait in honor of the blue crab and all those happy memories.