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.
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.
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.