We’ve just had another long week of ice and snow. I live in the South for a reason, we’ve had quite enough of this cold snowy weather. I feel for the folks in the North, this winter has been brutal. I’ve spent the snowy days dreaming of the warm Caribbean while working on a new fish painting, Red Fish in the Tropics. In this painting I’ve tried to capture the magic one sees while snorkeling along coral reefs. I love the way sound is muted and yet you see movement everywhere. The light bounces through the water and brightens the vivid colors of the fish while the schools of fish swim along in the same direction ready at any moment to dart off on a different course. You usually see one of two larger fish floating along with the current moving a bit slower. I worked many hours on this painting trying to get that feeling, by layering the light to get the sense of movement and adding lots a bright details to the fish and coral. The painting still doesn’t capture it fully but I didn’t want it to be too over worked and am fairly pleased. Let’s hope spring in the Northern hemisphere will come sooner than later. Until then we can dream…
Last April we were in Hawaii for my nephew’s wedding. His wife is from the Big Island and they had a lovely outdoor ceremony on a bluff overlooking the water right before sunset. The spot was called Turtle Point. Just below was a cove where we actually snorkeled and saw sea turtles swimming. That was very exciting for me because I had done this painting for their wedding gift and had also painted another sea turtle earlier but had never seen one swimming in the water before. They were very gentle creatures moving about peacefully.
I had fun painting these turtles, I wanted my nephew and his wife to have a nice memory of their amazing wedding and also have it be something their future children might look at and think about their parent’s wedding. My parents had a hand-painted plate of pretty delicate love birds with the date of their wedding that they had received as a wedding gift. It always hung above the kitchen door. I loved that plate and it helped me to remember their wedding anniversary date.
Honu is the Hawaii word for the sea turtle and on the Big Island, there are images of sea turtles everywhere. The honu is revered as a sacred symbol of life force. Hawaii is a such a unique and beautiful place. They say the South is friendly but in my opinion Hawaiians top Southerners. They were so open hearted, kind and relaxed. The spectacular natural beauty of the Big Island was breath taking. I hope to return one day.
Turtle Point painting print available here.
Last April we went to a family wedding in Hawaii. One of the highlights of our vacation was swimming with dolphins. While snorkeling at a coral reef I looked over to see a pair of dolphins swim by. We swam out to where there were more and watched them frolic. They were so playful and the beauty of the light through the clear blue water reflecting on their bodies was striking. Here is a photo that my niece took of them.
I have always loved dolphins. Throughout my childhood every year our family went to St. Simons Island off the coast of Georgia for a week in late August. We used to fish at the Point – a lovely spot where the beach met the marsh. I remember fishing on the rocks there and just waiting to see the dolphins that occasionally passed through. It was very exciting to spot them, they seemed so joyful and free.
Through the years I’ve dreamed about dolphins. As a kid I liked gymnastics but could never get past my fear of doing back handsprings. My dad said it was because I was so tall and had a big head; whatever the case, I never mastered it. I remember a powerful dream that I had in my twenties when I was going through a particularly tough time and feeling a lack of confidence. In the dream a group of dolphins swam around me and helped me do a back handspring. With their help it was so easy to do and I woke up feeling they had given me a gift.
Since getting back from Hawaii, I’ve been inspired to paint them, the painting below is my third one. Dolphins are a great example of just how joyful life can be. It is my hope that these paintings help convey that joy.
Print available here.