Painting a Story

See oil painting “Cardinal at the Cabin” come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

I uploaded this painting video to YouTube today and I struggled to come up with the words to put into the description. What started off as a simple project idea turned into a story of loss and healing. My grief journey began when I was a child, but when Mom died, it felt like I lost Dad all over again because she was the one who kept his memory alive.

But it has been several years now since she passed, and now my journey has me on a path where I’m hopeful and focused on the new roads ahead. Every now and then, though, my spirit needs a retreat to the cabin in the woods. Here is what I wrote for the YouTube video description:

What does this painting mean to you? Art is a language and it speaks to you however you want. This is what it means to me: When I painted this, the project goal was to paint from my imagination (no reference or plan) and paint however the emotions and inspiration leads. My thoughts were of a cabin in the woods, a peaceful and restful space, a spiritual escape from the stresses, chaos, and darkness of this world. But as I painted, I found myself lost in the scene with additions that changed the story. The empty rocking chair and the cardinal in the tree- the chair reminded me of Mom. Her chair is empty and her tea is abandoned, as she left it. The cardinal is Dad’s spirit, who died almost 25 years before her, when he was 37 years old. This space holds the spirits of loved ones who’ve left this world, yet they live on where time and physical distance has no meaning. When the burdens of this world are too much, let our minds escape to this cabin in the woods, where peace is forever standing still, and we are forever loved. But let’s not linger there too long. We are blessed to be alive. We have so much left to do. I have hundreds more paintings to reach my 1k finished oil paintings goal. We all have a destiny, a purpose, and reason to be here.


BEAUTIFUL Surprise for You!

Before I show you the surprise, watch this hummingbird oil painting come to life in 1 minute (time lapse). This is inspired by our real life feeder on the patio, and this is one of the types of hummingbird friends who visit us… that’s a clue for what I’m about to surprise you with…

but first, see the real life inspiration for my painting in action in this 24 second video I took…

So, now you know that the hummingbird looks like… and I can share what happened. My daughter bought me a new phone that has an AMAZING camera (thank you, thank you, thank you!). I wanted to try out the camera and wouldn’t you know it, yesterday there was a rainbow… and a second lighter arc appeared… a double rainbow! Some people say that they have never seen a double rainbow, others say that they are rare, but they seem to follow me wherever I go. Anyway….

I was taking pictures of the double rainbow when a hummingbird flew into the shot! He “photo-bombed” my pictures and it was BREATHTAKING! I couldn’t believe how my new camera caught his flight and I could zoom in and crop it to a detailed picture of his flight path. I put a short film together, and next I will post the photos separately so you can see them more clearly. 

I hope you enjoy your surprise. This really is something very special!  When you see this, don’t you feel that this world still has very wonderful and hopeful things?

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Wild or Roped?

First, the Wild Horses oil painting, then the inspiration behind it, how I created this art, and a new challenge for self reflection. Are you a wild horse or a roped pony? 

Watch me paint Wild Horses in 2 minutes (time lapse)

The inspiration for this art came after I saw real life videos taken by someone who owns a ranch where wild mustangs freely roam. The footage was breathtaking! He then challenged me to paint wild horses.

I’d never drawn or painted a horse before, but why not? I was teaching an online art class at the time so I assigned “wild horses” to myself as one of the class projects. I’ll show you these lessons now, as you can see step by step how I painted this art.

Session 1 of “Wild Horses

Session 2 of “Wild Horses

Session 3 (final session) of “Wild Horses

Your self-reflection challenge: Are you a wild horse or a roped pony? As most things in life, moderation and balance are key. You might have noticed that I used a painting reference (a photo to look at for guidance on shapes, proportions and perspective to achieve the likeness of the animals and structured composition), but later I stopped using the reference and painted from the heart.

 

Structure and following an established lead is akin to being roped like a pony. Painting (living) from the heart, led by emotion, intuition, and spontaneity is to experience the freedom of a wild mustang. Are you a wild horse or a roped pony?

 

In what areas of your life could you use more rope to reign yourself in, a gentle guide helping you stay in line, and a friendly pat on the head when you’ve stayed on course? In what areas of your life do you need to cut that rope and run free- following no one and nothing but your wildest dreams? Take a moment to ponder this, but don’t wait too long to act. Today, be a wild horse.

Want more?

Want more lessons? Take the full lesson for “Wild Horses” online. Or, start at the beginning of my free distance learning art course. You do not not need to paint- other art mediums work with these lessons also. If you prefer to draw, use watercolors, etc., you’ll still benefit from working through the suggestions and project prompts. Or, if you simply enjoy watching art in the making and prefer not to do the projects, feel free to watch these lessons as shows for entertainment/information only.

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