HONK!

Watch this oil painting of geese come alive in 1 minute (time lapse)

HONK! This is the painting video I uploaded to YouTube today. You might remember when I first shared this, and I blogged about Canadian Geese in our yard? My daughter drew these geese as seen from her bedroom window. I loved her simple, peaceful pen illustration and asked to use it for inspiration for a painting. Collaborative mother/daughter art- her vision and style combined with my painting. I plan to bring more of her drawings to life in the future.

Daughter’s illustration (top) and my oil painting on canvas (bottom)

The Canadian Geese painting above, set to music that sounds like honking, seems serendipitously timely. I often paint things that can’t possibly be current, political, spiritual, or in any way controversial until life moves slightly into the future, and then there I go again, painting trouble! Sometimes I willfully add my voice to an issue, other times I stumble into it and the connection might be subtle.

Video I took of geese in our yard, set to music, relaxing warm day

I wish we were simply left alone like these geese. See how the tiny hummingbird comes in at toward the end of the video? I’m standing very near the hummingbird and those geese. None of them seem to mind my presence. Why can’t we live in peace like this with fellow humans? HONK! I want to be as free as these geese.


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Forced to Slow Down

Watch this oil painting illustration for children’s book “Grandpa Smiles” come alive in under 2 minutes (time lapse)

This part of the book was inspired by when my son was in the hospital for surgery and his recovery. It was hard seeing my normally happy and active child so weak, sad, and listless. He is a college student now, healthy and sturdy.

Active people hate to be forced to slow down. That’s my status for today. Saturday I was pulling weeds and spraying the concrete with strong jets of water from the hose. I sprayed an ant nest and the tiny furious insects immediately swarmed my feet. I was wearing sandals, so even though I sprayed my feet off as quickly as I could, they had already stung and bit my exposed skin many times.

Here it is, two days later, and the itching and swelling are still miserably intense. My foot swelled so much that it feels funky to walk on it. I didn’t sleep well last night because of the interminable itching, despite creams and medicine, which only took the edge off. So, I’ve been forced to slow down, to ice my foot and give my body time to heal from this irritating development.

I hope to bounce back quickly, but for now, it’s difficult to sit in one position for too long as my foot swells and itches like crazy. No painting until I kick these allergic reactions to the ant bites, or until I find a way to paint with my foot elevated (if this ordeal goes on too long and I lose patience with it). I have already found a way to do dishes by propping my foot up on the counter while I use the sink. Good thing I was a dancer in another life.

Using this incident as a spiritual metaphor, there are times in our lives when something happens that forces us to slow down. Our normal busy thought patterns are disrupted. Our usual daily thoughts are put on hold. During such times, we become philosophical and reflective. We wonder, if our regular life can be stopped suddenly without our consent or warning, perhaps the things we do aren’t as important as we thought?

What do we miss doing when we are forced to slow down? What are we relieved to have an excuse not to do? How can we do more of the former and less of the latter? When we are forced to slow down, it’s an opportunity to re-evaluate how we live.