This painting was an experiment. A talented indie composer shared his work online and I asked if I could use it to paint what I see when I listen to his beautiful composition. This was the result.
It’s hard for me to put into words what this emotion is. It’s when we have a peaceful soul that can’t be shaken by temporary circumstances, earthly hardships, or any other setback. It’s a state of being that is expressed by “it is well with my soul”. And then, one day, a beautiful laugh is shared between loved ones, or a spontaneous encounter in nature occurs- like seeing a rose opening, a butterfly or hummingbird flitting past, or deer curiously peeking at us from a clearing- or we hear good news that changes our lives forever, and that’s when this joyful moment melds with a peaceful soul: our happiness bubbles over, creating freedom that dances in a floral forest.
Today I experienced a few moments that felt alive with such energy that it was “almost” time for a dance like that. I am so close to being HOME after so many years of temporary living. It’s still not a done deal and it could all fall through, but what if- no matter how horribly this forced move journey began- everything goes according to plan? Let the dance begin!
It’s that time of year again – I’m working on the new Easter Show 2022. The above painting was for my first holiday show, Easter 2020. Since then I’ve done several shows, including last year’s Easter Show 2021 (below):
This year’s Easter 2022 Show painting is planned, the songs are chosen, and I already have the start of my dress. I’m making the rest of it myself and I hope you’ll love it. I figured I better up my game and make one-of-a-kind gowns instead of missing an opportunity to be creative.
These holiday shows are separate from the new shows I plan to do on a regular (weekly is the plan) basis. Those have been temporarily postponed due a number of things that came up and bumped it off schedule. I will put it back on schedule as soon as I can. You might recall I mentioned an inspection I had to prepare for that came up without much notice, and I’ve been planting seeds indoors for my garden. I have limited space and need to use containers because I don’t own this property and can’t put anything into the ground. This makes for a good challenge, and I’m fine with that. Bring it on! I already have a lot of goodies sprouting. But, it is a lot of work to grow our own food and I have to fit it in quickly so I don’t miss the optimal window for our growing zone (8b). Anyway, I didn’t want you to think that the new vlog/green screen show I was talking about has been postponed indefinitely. It’s only on hold, especially since this has now merged with the Easter show prep.
If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I say what I mean, do what I say. I will deliver the show I promised soon. Until then, new paintings as I finish them, and in a little over a month I’ll launch the Easter show. Busy times. It helps us escape the gloom and doom of this world when we focus on positive, productive, happy things. But I can’t always measure up, and some days I’m just in a nasty funk. Today was sort of like that. I got it together by the afternoon, partly because I was looking through our Easter song choices and it’s hard to stay sullen and resentful when seeing such beautiful lyrics of hope and promise.
Stay strong. God bless you and yours. Spring will be here soon! May the new season bring peaceful times for this dark world.
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.
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.
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.
This one has been updated with different music and uploaded to YouTube. I’m slowly working on getting all of my oil paintings on YT. I’m also headed into a busy and productive week. I should have another new painting to share and I might have the first episode of the new show done too. We’ll see what the week brings! I hope you have a peaceful day and are feeling good about the week ahead. God bless you and your family.
This is one of my earlier paintings. It remains a favorite for some of you. I’ve worked hard today and I’m tired- are you? This art expresses how I feel at the moment: subdued, yet expectant (hopeful), quietly confident (letting nature and time take its course, faithful), and peaceful.
My work on the show is wrapping up. It will be delivered on schedule. My goal is to launch it several days before Christmas to give you time to share it with your family and friends. Until the show is finished, I’ll be putting in long days. It will all be worth it and I hope you enjoy the show!
I’m still enjoying the holiday weekend, but this morning I was by myself while the family slept in, so I had time to dabble with something I’ve been working on: a video channel for binge watching all of my painting videos. It will mean hours and hours of peaceful videos, so you’ll need to refill your coffee or other favorite beverages many times. The new page is set up with a few playlists started. This project will take several days to finish, as there are over 200 videos to upload. If you want a sneak peek before the video channel is officially linked and released to the public, here you go! Video Channel (in progress).
As usual, I’ll post my paintings here on the blog, rotating my older ones and chatting with you about things on my mind. When I have a new painting finished, I’ll put “New Painting” in the title so you know it’s fresh off the canvas, never before seen. But, if you’d like to see a whole series of videos without clicking back and forth, the new video channel will be a good place to be. You can easily spend all night there when all the videos are uploaded!
If you’ve already subscribed to me, thank you. It helps knowing that you are there, waiting for me to post something new. It applies pressure to me to keep working toward my lifetime goal of 1,000 finished oil paintings. If you’ve not yet subscribed, please do so. There’s no such thing as too many friends! 🙂
I share this one when I’m feeling melancholic, flitting back and forth between faint optimism and bittersweet sentiment, and a gloomy premonition that something bad is about to happen. This sense of doom is partly an empathetic response to the way the wind is shifting on the world stage on a particular day, and partly a personal, individual perspective that is complicated and unique to me (although my own emotions are often astonishingly in sync with other fellow humans, even with people I’ve never met).
Melancholy can be channeled into beautiful things. I tend to be more introspective and lost in my art when I’m feeling a bit blue. Depression or a funk is a different state, and I find no benefit to emotions so low as to be unproductive and damaging to one’s health. So I’m definitely not advocating for sadness that causes a person to have difficulty leading a normal life. What I mean is the kind of sadness that put us in a quiet, restful state that may evolve into empathy; a profound connection to fellow humans and our shared plight. This state of being is a good foundation for creating art.
When you’re feeling a bit blue, embrace those emotions by channeling them into a project you can escape into, as if alone at sea on a peaceful cloudy day, in which you can just see the comforting glow from a lighthouse. You won’t lose your way home. Stay in the cold murky waters for a while. Take in the beauty of the moment; as our joy is defined by our sadness. When we don’t know sadness, we may struggle to fully appreciate joy.
When we are weary, the lighthouse will lead us back to the shore. We can rest, and let our breath flow out, relaxed, letting go of all of our concerns. As we lay our heads on our pillows that night, we sleep deeply; our fears lose their grip, our sadness lifts, and when we waken in the morning our energy is restored.
Watch me paint “Blue Heron” in under 1 minute (time lapse)
He’s back! If you’ve been following me for a while, you might remember this story:
“Astrikingly beautiful blue heron appeared at the lagoon one day. I quickly took its picture to paint later. This is a different style from how I usually paint. It looks like a watercolor because I was trying to get away with using cheap paints that turned out to be watery and hard to work with. This was a happy accident, because the watercolor-like effect captured the mood.
He has only made one more appearance that I know of, but I hope he will return next spring. On the day he arrived, he just happened to be standing at the water’s edge when the light reflected the colors of the trees in a streaky wave of color. He was all alone, with no other birds or creatures in sight, which only added to his mysterious presence.” – from book “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia” by artist Natalie Buske Thomas
He has since come back a few times. He has a quiet presence, but somehow we become aware of him. His energy is so peaceful. It inspires a hopeful feeling, as if good things are soon to come.
Enter the serenity of this peaceful scene; overcast skies, green foliage, and a wild creature peering through a clearing in the woods. Is it early morning or is the evening dusk settling in? Can you almost smell the fresh dewy air and hear the rustle of the leaves?
I’m starting a new painting today that is quite a departure from animal art, but still loosely fits into the theme of “inspired by nature”. I hope to have the new one ready to share on Sunday. Tomorrow this blog will resume the series “Stories that Inspire my Art” which will run through the summer (on the days when I don’t have a new painting to share).
Sometimes I look at a photo or a real life object when I paint, other times I paint from my imagination and just let the art grow. This is one of the “from imagination” kind of paintings. I put music on and let the paints flow. As usual, we can apply this to our life. Some days, we schedule ourselves into a routine, and other days we let the minutes flow.
Try to “live by imagination” this weekend. Let the time flow. You may find yourself in a peaceful spiritual forest, restored and ready for the challenges of the week ahead.