Fire is a new painting of mine continuing with the element theme. Traditionally the fire element represents action, power, passion, and creativity. A few years ago, I painted a night scene in the forest with a largeBonfireto represent the fire element. In this new painting I chose a daylight scene so that it would include the sun; which, of course is the biggest fire ball that lights up the sky and allows for life on our planet.
It is a another abstract landscape with the idea of a controlled fire. Fires are needed in dryer lands to clear underbrush and open acorns and seeds that open only with fire. Indigenous people have been practicing controlled, deliberate burns in North America, and around the world, for millennia.
I put in the fire salamanders as I did in the Bonfire painting. They symbolize the fire element; in fact ,the name salamander is derived from a Greek term loosely meaning “fire lizard.” Some salamanders hibernate in hollow, decaying logs of wood. When the log was used for burning the salamanders would leap out and this led to the idea of them being born of the fire.
I’m pleased with the painting and am beginning a new one today. Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all.
Venus is a new painting in my planet series. I’ve learned quite a bit about the mythology of Venus from the research I did for a couple of other abstracts last year. The abstract which I named Ishtar, of a eight pointed star symbolized the planet Venus’s star pattern as she travels through space around the sun from our view on earth. Ishtar is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess very similar to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty in Greek mythology. The earlier abstract I painted,Golden Mean Spiral, was based on the spiral pattern found throughout nature. Venus as she continually moves through space in a golden mean spiral forms a beautiful rose pattern. It’s interesting to me that the ancients knew about this.
I started this painting planning to get the star formed around the planet but then I thought I’d already done the star; so, I then decided to paint Venus as she appears in space. Venus is the second planet out revolving around the sun and as seen from earth is always close to the Sun, sometimes she’s the morning star and sometimes becomes the evening star. Those transitions are when the star points are formed in the pattern. Venus is a white planet brighter than the moon and has pink clouds. Here on earth, she appears as a bright white star.
I began to imagine Venus as almost like a pearl from the seashell within the sea from which she was formed in the Greek myth so famously portrayed in Botticelli’s Birth of Venus painting. I put in the sun on one side and used pastel colors, on the other side of Venus, I imagined it as the sea with its mysterious depths. It was fun to play with and I’m pleased with the painting. Spring is here in Atlanta, a great time to see the gold mean pattern and appreciate all the beauty in nature.
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.
Sun #2 is my new painting for this week. Last week’s painting, El Sol, looked flat to me. so I decided to paint another, this time trying to get a more three dimensional feeling. It’s an imaginary sun with different solar system of planets revolving around it. I worked on the painting for a number of days and almost gave up on it. Luckily, I was able to push through and am pleased with how it turned out. I like the dynamic feeling and the sense of space.
We had couple of mild days here that uplifted my spirits. It was pleasant hearing the birds sing and children laugh while playing as I went on my walks. A few neighborhood friends dropped by for enjoyable afternoon gatherings in our front yard which was a needed break from this isolating COVID-19 time. Now the rain has come through and cold weather is back. I love the warm days we get here in Georgia in later winter; it means spring will be here soon. Happy Valentine’s Day 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.
After learning last week that because dragonflies zig and zag about, they symbolize flexibility and the need for a fresh perspective I was inspired to do a painting with a dragonfly focus. I then decided to check out the meaning of the number 4 since I had painted 4 dragonflies circling the sun in the earlier painting. The number four is symbolic of stability, order and structure. The year 2020 adds up to four and it’s interesting that our structures and foundations are somewhat shaky now and need transformation with all that’s going on.
Four Dragonflies is the result. I chose to have the dragonflies rising up in a spiral and decided each one would represent one of the four elements: earth, water, air and fire which helped me with the the composition and transitions. I’m not quite sure how successful it is but it was fun to paint, I loved playing with the swirls of color, trying to make it work. Well hang in there everyone, we will get through this.
I did this a painting in late January of this year. I had been thinking about the collage art I see from friends on social media that move me. The artist cuts out images and puts them together in a composition that is meaningful for them. As a painter I decided to play with that idea of collage by painting various images in a composition. Fish and Pitcher Plants is the result.
When I look at it now, it seems my unconsciousness was picking up on the Coronarvirus situation we find ourselves in. The fish swimming down from two major tree branches that look similar to lungs. Fish can’t breath out of water. It was the first time I painted orbs in the air instead of my usual swirls, the orbs are the small air particles. The pitcher plant is a beautiful, unusual plant that kills it’s insect prey by drowning them; that’s somewhat creepy.
I looked up the meaning of dragonflies and read this from the website, WhatismySpiritAnimal.com which I quote. “Did life change in the blink of an eye? Is it challenging to zig now that life is zagging? Do you need help seeing the big picture or finding truth in the underbelly of a person or situation? Dragonfly as a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal can help! Dragonfly teaches you flexibility and how to take in the big picture.” Wow, life has changed in the blink of an eye for all of us. Today I am going to start a new painting with the focus on dragonflies. Hope you and your loved ones are staying safe!
It’s been a busy season, a couple of Sundays ago we had the yearly neighborhood artist holiday open house at my home. I enjoy decorating my home as it gets me into the Christmas spirit. Several artist friends and their lovely art fill the downstairs during the show. It was a sunny mild day with lots of people stopping by; everyone seemed to do well. The following Monday I took time to restock my framed prints over at the Flying Biscuit Cafes.
Now I’m back to painting. I’ve just completed Leo the Lion. I had painted the Lion’s Gatea while back but this time I wanted to paint a large lion as if the solar light was shining on and from him. The sun rules Leo and the Lion is it’s symbol. I have a good friend, a Leo who is having serous health issues. I admire his strength, to me, he seems gallant the way he has handled his degenerative illness and continues to be present and loving with his family.
Many years ago on Christmas, my twin sister and I received the set of books, The Chronicles ofNarnia by C.S. Lewis which we read over the winter break. Both of us loved the series as the writing was imaginative and magical. I especially loved the Aslan, the lion. He was the majestic guide, strong and kind. I pictured him in my mind as he took the children for rides on his back. How safe and secure they felt. In the film that came out a few years back, the lion was much smaller than I imagined. The lion I painted is how I see him.
After last week’s more complex painting, I felt like painting something more whimsical and loose. As I was pondering what to paint, I happened to see a funny cartoon of Wile E. Coyote getting into trouble with the Road Runner and later that evening Joni Mitchel’s Coyote tune came up on my Echo; I love all her music and had not heard that fun song in years. We also have had plenty of coyotes in the hood, I’ve never seen one here but have heard their strange calls in the wee hours of the night.
With the decision made, I looked up the symbolism of the coyote. He is often thought of as a trickster, a joker, and even a shape-shifter, but is also revered in Native American culture as an important messenger of personal transformation, showing endings and new beginnings.
I thought it might be fun to paint a coyote in a fanciful colorful magic-like landscape and Wily Coyote is the result. I’m pleased with the way he is looking at the viewer as if he knows something we don’t.
Next week my husband and I are heading to Seattle for my niece’s wedding. Its definitely a time of a new beginnings for my niece and also for her older sister who is days away from her second child’s birth. We’ll be there for a just under a week with all my sisters and the nieces and nephews. Our daughter will fly in from Japan, luckily her internship ends two days before the wedding date. We’re so looking forward to being with her and hearing all about her experience there. Not sure that I’ll be able to start another painting before we leave but am looking forward to new inspiration of being in Seattle during this exciting time with our extended family.
I’ve been thinking about the light and dark and how here in the United States each passing day brings more and more concerning news. We are living through an unique time period that has a surreal feeling to it. There are many polarizing issues with such a big gulf between them; from gun control, global warming, immigration, to race relations and gender issues. What seems clear to me, is not to others who have their own different beliefs. I’m sure they feel the same as I do. Arguing about the issues has not been productive.
There are no easy answers. I again started thinking about Carl Jung’s term the shadow and how what we don’t see in ourselves gets projected onto others. I think on a collective level we are all dealing with unhealed wounds from our past and collectively we need to blend the light and dark within ourselves.
Moonlit Dove with Sunlit Crow is a new painting of a white dove flying toward the moon and the black crow flying toward the sun is the result of my pondering. Getting back to painting is helping me refocus my energy away from absorbing too much negative news to being more centered and peaceful. This is helping me integrate my own anger issues that will hopefully reach out into the collective and help in some way.