Painting the Beekeepers Gift

Everyone has natural gifts, whether they are aware of them or not.

Bee within hexagons.

This painting started out abstract and simplistic. Just a few notes, like a melody. A bee surrounded by light, with a few hexagons to represent the honeycomb. However, the painting continued to expand, and so did its message.

Some people have gifts that they may be completely unaware of, however, these gifts are very valuable to each individual they interact with. True kindness, a sense of humor, patience, or compassion are just a few. Gifts do not require a tangible creation, like beautiful music, or a wonderful story. Gifts can not be put on like fashion accessory, or used for manipulation. All gifts are something that serve life, and live on within the recipient, lifting them up to a lighter self.

Bees symbolize community, light, and the sweetness of life. They also represent the heart, and personal power. Bees respond to, and respect the gentleness within an individual. Most people do as well. They become alarmed and threatened by insensitivity and disrespect. Bees can intuit true intentions. The Beekeeper symbolizes a pure heart, that cares deeply, and respectfully for the sweetness in life, dispelling fears.

“The Beekeepers Gift” represents the courage, and the great power of sharing our gifts in thought, word, and deed.  — Thank you.

This is “The Beekeepers Gift”

 

 

Painting “Tribal Garden”

Sketching in my notebook, I began to play with a design and listen. It felt tribal, and I thought of tattoos, but I also felt a garden, and realized this image would represent a combination of the essence, thoughtfulness, and the respect many cultures live by, deeply connected in reverence with nature, honoring the gifts of the earth, and that which created it.

Beginning Tribal Garden, Sketch

The sketch is a connection for me, and when I begin to paint, I get to listen and learn.

Tribal Design – Representing a way of choosing to live, spiritual beliefs, and could be seen as a transition in life, embracing wisdom and understanding the grace of being truly aware and alive.

Garden – The original paradise created by God as a safe enclosure. The soul, and innocence, consciousness, happiness, salvation, and purity. Gardens represent the essence of the space between people that is a true state of living in peace, because gardens represent inclusion, community, and a sense of well-being.

Tribal Garden Design

Hibiscus Flower –  Delicate beauty, immortality, and the natural beauty of being one with God. The hibiscus, represents a state of royalty in the connection to that which created this earth, respecting and honoring the hospitality that the earth has always been generously giving to us.

I then painted two more panels of this piece.

Tribal Garden Center Panel

Tribal Garden – Third Panel

And I thought about this experience, about the tribal significance of living on this generous planet, and listening to what the garden and its creator is so diligently offering to teach us. Do I listen and make time to connect to the earth? Do I honor the planet in my life choices, in what I choose to support, and do I and thank nature each day for its wisdom, and the nurturing sustenance it offers?

This is the “Tribal Garden”

Tribal Garden

Thank you.

Painting “Opportunities & Choices”

I heard this painting before I saw it in my mind. I listened to the rythmic sound of the tracks. I drew my sketch and painted a train shortly after pulling into a station. As I painted the passengers, I realized they felt dull, and resigned to their continuous, and repetitive journey of this train. That became the symbolism of the train itself, outdated, dark and uninspired.

Sketch & Train Body

Symbolism
 The train represents traveling through life with only the tools of a “mass form of thought” that is void of any questions, awareness, joy, or truth. The repetitive sound of this train represents all of the unconscious judgements, ignorance, and fear that has been repeated over and over again all around us, accepted, and then passed on, and pressed on, to the next generation.

Train with Background & Foreground

I painted the background architecture next, and the platform, wondering where this image was going? Was it meant to be this dark?

An elephant appeared on the platform and was quickly joined by a few friends. I chuckled at this.

Elephant, Zebra & Parrot

Elephant
Symbolizes nourishment,
instincts, focus, and family. Nourishing the true instincts within us, that we arrive with, daily shifting our focus to the bigger picture, to the bigger family of all of life that surrounds us, every person, place and thing. Practicing patience, and asking for guidance for the understanding of others while we question our own ignorance.
Elephant symbolizes letting go of the lies we may have been warned to “never forget”, and we may have held onto through our loyalty to those that gave them to us, as others had given to them, possibly believing they created some sort of safety.

Zebra
Symbolizes other viewpoints and new ideas, new ways of resolving problems, asking within to understand, and recognizing there is a higher truth connecting all individuals, and the world around us. Life is filled with millions of colours, and is not just black and white.

Parrot
Parrot is a symbol of mirroring habits, characteristics, or ways that are not necessarily reflective of who you really are. The parrot also represents the vigilance of paying attention to what you are saying unconsciously to yourself, and to the world around you with your words, attitudes, and behaviors, in the quest for acceptance.

The Child

In this painting, the child represents each moment of each day. In a moment of misunderstanding and confusion, we are being given an opportunity and a choice. Do we choose to shelter ourselves in judgements that condemn another individual as being less than ourselves? Does this unconscious reaction, really make us feel safe when misunderstanding another person, triggering a fear within us? Or do we trust in our connection to a much, much higher form of wisdom and grace, that will guide us into a larger awareness, unconditional love, and the patience to keep asking for the highest truth, until all of the lights come on within, and we see ourselves connected to all. Grace and wisdom has always been there in our suitcase, waiting to be open and unpacked.  Each moment is our opportunity. Do we board the train of mass thought, or do we choose to rise to a higher platform, and hold hands with the alignment of the greater good of all?  Thank you.

This is “Opportunities & Choices”

Opportunities & Choices

Painting “Change & The Center of Gravity”

It began with an image that had arrived in my mind. It was of a woman with a beautiful light shining from within her heart. Before I could get started on this new painting, a nagging tickle in my throat soon turned into a rib breaking cough, and days in bed with a cold.

During my waking moments, I continued to watch the image paint itself in my imagination. Once I recovered, I set to work on creating this painting. However, something had changed. The painting had changed, and it was different. I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me. What I had imagined was no longer there to work from. This was very disconcerting, and I experienced a few moments of doubt. Each painting is an adventure, and I see it as a sort of movie that I participate with. Then, I finally began to understand. Feeling the discomfort of “change” was the first note of the music, or film score for this movie.

Stage Two, painting the hands

Doubt is uncomfortable and difficult. I waited, listened, and asked, “What am I painting?” The painting had changed, and the main figure was now a young man. While painting his face first, I saw that the image appeared only from the bridge of his nose down. This is the face of anyone, and everyone.

Next were the hands. The hands are protective and cherishing his heart, his center. This is the home of his “knowingness”, his light, and his truth. The truth is there waiting to offer its wisdom, and only the truth can see through the limited perceptions of his eyes and emotions.

Stage Three, tattoos and the message on the tee-shirt

As I began to paint the arms, I saw the tattoos. I thought about the stereotypes that society has placed upon men, and women for thousands of years, telling them who they “should be”  and “should not be” in order to be safe, valuable, and loved. I thought about the confusion and disappointment this causes within each person, and within their expectations towards each other.  A decade later, these stereotypes will change again, and so will the expectations of who each person “should” be.

I continued to paint this young man, who is cherishing the light and the knowingness within his heart. I began to understand the symbolism, the adventure, the message, and the painting itself. We all have the truth available and running through us in each moment. Accessing this truth, and the choice to honor and cherish this truth is ours, and requires the courage of a personal change. We also have the choice to see only with our eyes, feel only our emotional reactions in a situation, and be guided by the opinions of others. However, these perceptions are not the whole truth.

The message on the young man’s tee-shirt presented itself. “Question Everything”. The question is “what is the truth?” We can choose the gift we  have been given, to listen without an agenda or judgement. This is our greatest gift and power, and our center of gravity as we navigate through illusions, and the constant change of each day. Our center of gravity is our “knowingness”, the light within that supersedes the doubt, discomfort and fear. We have all been given this. Maybe it’s time to make friends with our knowingness, have a long talk and form a great, lifetime relationship.

Finally I painted the fabric background, symbolizing this young man’s “wings of protection and flight” as he trusts, continues to “Question Everything” and treasures the highest truth from within the core of his being. Thank you.

This is “Change & The Center of Gravity”

 

Painting “The Unknown is Calling”

Stage One; The Phone

Once a painting is completed, I begin to wonder what the next painting will be. This time, the image of an old black rotary telephone came into my mind. I thought this was great, I love these phones. However, this image also arrived with the essence of a mystery as well. Each painting is an adventure, a life lesson for me concerning the shared experience of us all.

I create black in a painting by applying a variety of colors on top of one another. I finish the section with two or three layers of  Lamp Black glaze,  a soft warm black. Black is the combination of all colors, and the absence of light. Most every surface will reflect the colors around it, even a piece of white paper, or the page of a book you are reading. Try it. Look closely at your finger touching the paper, then lift it about an eighth of an inch, and continue to look at that spot on the paper. If the lighting is good, you will see the color of your skin faintly on the page. When I first saw this, I thought I was having a “moment”, but with closer observation, I saw the truth of what I was actually becoming aware of.

Stage Two; The Crow

I began to create a marbled texture as well. Next, the name and the number on the phone arrived into my mind; “Unknown 0000”. OK, here we go I thought, we are painting that which we call “The Unknown”, something that immediately seems uncomfortable and mysterious. After the phone was completed, I saw that a crow was to be perched on the phone.

I sat with this painting for some time, just listening. While painting the background, the story of the image began to tell itself. To various degrees, we may consciously or unconsciously, for a false sense of safety, try to protect ourselves from the unknown. This can lead to a calcification of the light that is within all of life, by not allowing the light of awareness, joy, and love to move in and through any given moment freely. We could also grow argumentative and controlling, demanding that what we know, is the right and only way.  This would be simply our fear and not trusting an inner knowingness. This inner knowingness is created to be in constant flow through us. This is also the unknown, becoming known.

The Phone – represents information, and that life is continuously calling to us in each moment. Black represents information that is moving from the position of what you may not know in this minute, to what you will know the next, bringing it into the “light” where all of its colors can be seen.

The Crow – Crow symbolizes the void or core of creation, from darkness to light and alert for every call from the sacred.

The Dove & The Rainbow – In this painting both represent the highest truth available to all. At one moment it is unknown, and in the next, we have the opportunity to become aware of it. We do this by simply asking, by making our own phone calls, and then listening instead of hanging up. It is the peace, and the freedom we feel when we move from not knowing, into knowing. This is faith. This is asking what it is you need to know. When we think about it, this happens in each moment of every day. By choosing to remain open to change, to information with consideration, we are answering the phone in our own lives. We are being led to our own greatest selves. We become light, and within the light, we become pure color.

P.S. The day after I finished this painting a circumstance arrived at my door of life, and I was ushered into another opportunity of the great unknown. With a new set of observational skills, faith, questions, and a lot of focus/listening, and after 5 hours with a used car salesman……..a gruelling test if there ever was one, I exited dehydrated, but victorious, and with an entire new lifestyle. 100% Electric. (big smiley face)

This is “The Unknown is Calling”

The Unknown is Calling

Painting the Path

Discovering the story, and painting it along the way

For quite a long time after I completed a painting, I would just post it to the website gallery, on the blog as an image only, and then move on. After a while I began to add a quote that I felt went along with the “theme”.

However, behind the scenes there was always an adventure, a path of life experiences leading up to the completion of each painting. These experiences are a part of the painting process, along with experimenting, and discovering new painting techniques to accomplish a texture, colour, or light.

Lion Stage one.

And the discovery of what it is I am painting and why…the story of the image and understanding life through the creation of the painting.

Stage One; An image of a Lion popped into my head and I wondered how in the world I was going to paint all of that fur! I also wondered why I was going to paint a lion. At that time, only a part of the greater image of the painting would arrive in my mind. Never the entire image. I began painting the lion. I found that if I painted a wash of colour and then scratched the paint, it would create a nice look for the fur.

Lion Stage Two

Stage Two; By adding more washes, and scratching them with different degrees of pressure, some of the scratches maintained the wash underneath, creating an interplay of light, tint, and texture.

 

Lion Stage Three

Stage Three; More washes of the deepest contrast were applied in specific areas, as well as some additional texture with a bristle brush.Then using an opaque cream colour, and a fine brush, I added the highlighted whiskers and hair around the face and random areas.

As the lion reached this third stage the “setting” for the background of the image came into my mind. This was an older type of subway system with brick walls. Personally, I had been listening to, and observing life around me, and all of the changes that have been happening so rapidly worldwide for all of us. Issues with lifestyle, belief, religion, and who’s right and wrong were escalating. I realized that the unconscious norms of society about “how to live life” were rapidly leaving, and leaving many at an emotional, economical, and spiritual loss, escalating an inner feeling of confusion, depression, despair, and mistrust.

Ruck sack, Candle, Clock and Compass

So what is left to one and all in these highly charged, and rapidly, changing times? Perhaps the mode of “follow the leader” is failing completely, and each person must now look within themselves, and find what is true for them.

I painted the rucksack, symbolizing that from the moment you were born, all of the tools and skills you needed in this lifetime came with you. As a very wise and funny friend of mine says, “sometimes, you need to remember when and where you left your backpack.”

I painted the candle for the light within each of us that is illuminating our way, especially in the dark.

The clock symbolizes time, in that the time is now, living someone else’s plan for you and remaining un-true to yourself is over for everyone, and this is the discomfort, the “shake-up.”

I painted a compass to represent that although we may not trust it, we each know what direction is our own, and the world map, represents a reminder to be open to all possibilities, and that maybe our own path is not just one place, but many places along the way.

The young girl symbolizes the innocent child of the universe in each one of us, and through this part of ourselves, this goodness is available, by simply asking.

As I put the finishing touches on the Lion, this powerful, protective creature of grace and strength, I came full circle with my experience of the painting, and the present moment in my own life. The Lion represents the Creator, the God or whatever you choose, that beats your own heart, no matter what name the Creator is given in any culture or belief system. Present when we are confused, present when we stamp our feet and demand the whole “story” before we try, always present, always there watching over our individual path, custom designed for each and every one of us, with offering us what we need to know each step of the way when we choose to ask and listen. When we ask, when we follow our own truth, we are each a pathfinder of our own story.

Sometimes we bump into other people’s stories, but that is a different painting!

This is the “The Pathfinder”

The Pathfinder

Thank you

 

 

Painting Peace on Earth & Learning About Peace Within

It began while I was painting a polar bear, in late September.

It began with a Polar Bear

Filled with inspiration to paint the soulful eyes, and gaze of a beautiful polar bear, I set to it. I worked, and worked, happily creating every hair, and every detail with so much love. After many, many hours, I had almost completed the face, and I began to imagine the next steps, and the story that the image of the bear would tell when it was finished. At last it was time. “So!” I asked the bear, because yes, I do talk to each painting, and the painting tells me what is next, “…what’s next, a baby bear, two baby bears…a day in the snow, the love of a parent?”

Nothing.

The bear just stared at me. I stared at the bear. I had created plans, and conditions, this was going to be a really lovely piece…..right?

Nothing.

As so often in my life, I then willfully forged ahead, and I painted two adorable baby bears. It didn’t work, didn’t fit, it wasn’t the story and it didn’t have any magic. Well, I thought to myself, I will just put this away for now, not a loss, just……a mystery. It is what it is, I will wait, I will check back later.

Bear with Background

One month, and a few other paintings later, I rediscovered a technique I had used with acrylics, and I created a background of an abstract aurora borealis. This was just what the polar bear painting needed, I thought. Yes! And there was the bear, resplendent with the new background, looking good!  

And then……there was nothing more.

I began to doubt, and then I wanted to stamp my foot, …..and after quite some time, I humbly understood this was about grace. Life is about timing, respect, and a compassionate acceptance of all things we may not understand immediately. Pushing an issue,  a person, or a situation to be different, or fit my plans, is not something I would do, then why would I push or make demands of myself, or this painting? I stared at the bear, and bear stared back at me, and I apologized for this offensive behavior. “Let me know when you are ready,” I said to the bear, “I’ll be listening.”

December began, and I was thinking of presents to buy. The polar bear painting came into my mind. I went to the painting and I looked at the bear, and the bear was looking at me.  Respectfully, I patiently waited, and then I began to see an image just starting to appear, and then becoming a little clearer………and there it was, an angelic face.

Plans for the day were set aside, and I painted, and this sweet face became a young girl. And the young girl fit perfectly with the Polar Bear.

This was peace, and I felt peaceful while humbly listening to what the painting wanted.  I had just been taught a great lesson, and I am thankful. Peace on earth begins with peace within, and from within, it will naturally pour out and into the world.

This painting is titled “Peace on Earth”, and it is my Christmas card for this year, as well. This is my Christmas lesson and gift, and now my Christmas story to share. Merry Christmas to all, and may peace be within you.

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