Paintings – That’s A Wrap…

I thank you all.

Learning about life through art and a pandemic.
On Thursday I will be uploading my last creation for 2020, but first I wanted to say thank you to all of you who follow, or drop by my site.
I am so very grateful for each one you on this journey.
Every comment and conversation has been a delight, and a link to a supportive, funny, and talented community.
I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to discover and follow your work, your process, lives, and the inspiration you offer.

The poetry, art, photography, music, favorite books, food, and news of the world have kept me connected in an isolated time.

In these last few days I am reviewing my steps, stumbles, leaps and what I have learned in 2020. What to carry forward, and what to definitely leave behind entering 2021.
I am asking myself “who was I as a person in 2020, and what did I offer to others?”
What better place to discover yourself than to review the past year of your own site? A snapshot of a challenging and enlightening year – in thumbnails.

In January
We ushered out the old year and welcomed the new. I painted and wrote about pursuing your path, and the importance of having a dream.

February & March Lockdown
I painted and wrote about learning new things, the wonder of life, welcoming spring, and contemplating solutions.

April Lockdowns
Masks alerted our attention on the importance of a smile. While we were in lockdown nature was bursting forth.
I came across a nature-made altar, painted it, and also found that life can be both prickly and sweet.
Most of all, I just kept believing in the greater good. A sense of humor became gold.


May & the Southwest States Second Wave
20,935,000 Americans were only the first to become unemployed, hospitals were overwhelmed.
I painted the focus, acceptance, and trust of nature and birds,
and wrote about what I learned from them and within myself.


June, July, and August
D. Trump lifted a ban on baiting and killing hibernating bears, their cubs, and wolves in Alaska
that had previously prohibited sports hunters from slaughtering them by any means.
I painted a mother bear and her cub while asking for their protection and for the balance of the planets eco system. There were devastating fires.
The world seemed surreal, the virus was receding but the mounting life imbalance surged.
People came together in the determination for change in protecting, and rebuilding a new democracy that had systematically been allowed to be humiliated, but not destroyed.
And the protests escalated.
Many remained steady and vigilante on the platform of grace. Many did not.


September and October
Acceptance became sanity. My industry changed, and I chose to pivot, explore, learn and head into that change.
We embraced the colours of autumn, nurturing and change for the better…for everyone.

November
“Change, and the Center of Gravity.” I am passionate about questioning everything,
asking for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I imagined miracles and possibilities, and finally, finally arrived at a painting style by shear accident that I liked.
(Note to self; keep in 2019.)
Then I began teaching myself motion graphics…
and I was so very thankful to life itself.

December
Reflecting on a year that was a deep dive,
a personal and emotional deep clean,
and an excavation of all that held no value.
I shared in, and embraced the true Spirit of Christmas.


Almost ready for 2021…..
If you have actually read this far, then wow, I am truly honored and grateful.
Embracing the now, waving goodbye to what is no longer valuable
for myself, all of humanity and the planet.

Peace to all.

Painting – Autumn Flowers.

For quite a few days and nights the air was heavy with the smell of burning wood. Many of the hills and reserves were burning, and still are. There are 426 fires active in my state as of today. For weeks our temperatures soared well over 114 degrees, and I wondered how the firefighters could physically survive it. Each morning the fading moon was hot-pink or red from the smoke. And it is devastatingly worse for our neighboring states.

Yet through all of this, the untouched areas of nature are carrying on, painting a picture of beauty in its elegant grace.
Nature, our greatest treasure and teacher. I marvel at it all…and I am humbled.

We have known about global warming since the 1960’s. Yes. I hope all of those that didn’t believe in global warming now “get it.”
The planet doesn’t need us. We are its guests, we were meant to be the guardians of this gift.
I hope we have a new and intelligent government that places the earth as a top priority, finally.

A government that selflessly serves and represents the Greater Good of All.
We the people, can not do it alone.
It requires “We the Nation.”
We the world.

Peace and prosperity for all.

– Thank you

Painting – A Peaceful Nap…Sort of.

A Peaceful Nap…sort of. 40″ x 40″ painting of Mother and Cub Brown Bear in Alaska.

Parenting and those “oh so treasured” daily nap times.

Every parent has had the experience of “nap time” and drifting off into a snooze, only to be aware that the young one(s) are fiddle-faddling around, and nature seems to be chiming in!

This painting is the follow-up on my last post, and the final work. The creative and painting process provided me with valuable insights about life itself, and how I am choosing to live it.

Detail of Alaska Brown Bear Cub Face.

This little cub is gazing at a Silvery Blue Butterfly (Glaucopsyche lygdamus) found in Alaska and the northern hemisphere. Once considered extinct, it has recently resurfaced.

“Love what you are doing.” I have all heard this said many times. And time is what it took for me to get the value of that advise.

I learned that in each moment of anything I am doing, painting, mopping my kitchen floor, or paying bills, if I am focused only on the task in that moment with gratitude and love, it is a joyful experience. My energy is endless.

However, this is also a conscious and disciplined choice, and more than occasionally requires a sense of humor. It’s like meditating. When I paint fur or feathers, I paint each hair, and each feather, and with each stroke it becomes a meditation on how much I love the subject. During the process I wondered why I had ever allowed anything else (doubt, fear, anxiety) to crowd my mind? Maybe this is one of hidden gifts of the pandemic, and the months in isolation, the time to evaluate and implement this valuable understanding.

 

Detail of Mama Bears face.

I have a friend who tells me that sometimes less is more in art, and this is quite true as well. But for this painting I wanted to paint all of the little details. I love to look at illustrations and paintings that are detailed and my eye can travel through the painting and find new details each time I look at it. I love a painting I can walk into and sit down for a time, and just soak up the experience.

I hope this painting becomes that kind of experience for someone.
Nature is a wondrous gift.

Now tomorrow, I will take on the long avoided task of decluttering my storage room, and LOVE it
…….(that is the part that requires a sense of humor).

– Thank you

Painting – “Gently, gently…

 

..and oh, so carefully.”

The tag-line of my website is; “Living and learning through the creative mind.”

And this painting taught me a lot about life this week.

 I learn a great deal about life through the process of painting, and the many hours of observation and listening while I work. I believe it is the same for pursuing any endeavor. Living life is certainly a big job, and life is something we all have in common on a daily basis.

Over the past few years I have come to realize that if I get out of the way and pay attention, the painting will paint itself. That’s the challenge. Each painting is an opportunity to experience when I don’t do this as well.

As in life, my job is to listen and not “be” the creator or a bull in the china shop, so to speak. Not so easy to do. Life truly does have a plan in every moment, and it is always a good one, if I am not desperately seeking fulfillment out of doubt.

This requires the courage to trust my inner most self, not the self with its hair on fire. Doubt is always my first trip and fall. Trying to be the creator or “the boss” never works for me, it is unfulfilling and the results are always pretty bad. In life we tend to want to know the outcome before we begin, don’t we? Before we take any risk at all. If we don’t know the outcome we tend to force an outcome, or play “lets pretend.” When the outcome doesn’t match our fantasy, we feel defeated, or blame others.

Back to the painting. This painting is my second attempt, okay, it’s my third. The first is so embarrassing, it would hurt your eyes.

When I began all over for the third time, all I knew was that I was painting an elderly hand, and the lighting was vital. Once this was completed I was right on the edge of moving in and “making up” a background, but I stepped away and took a walk. On my walk, I saw this image on the porch; (yep, that’s my left foot in the bottom right).

This was my inspiration for the background design. Yea! I also knew a bird would be resting on her fingers, and once this part of the painting was done it still felt too uncompleted. Again, I walked away. Keep in mind, this painting took me 5 days to paint. Then I walked back and looked at it again, and again, like checking on a sleeping baby, listening for the next step. While cleaning, the idea for the second bird in the palm came to me. It appears to be quite natural now, but I had to wait for it. The three extra stems in the middle ground arrived next, and then nothing. I began to doubt, wanted to throw in huge splashes of bright colour and almost ruined it. Again, “Gently, gently…” came into my mind for this painting, and as a new life mantra.

Gentleness requires a great deal of strength … and courage.

A friend sent me this message describing the painting; “I am caught by the emotion. The beautiful juxtaposition of the brightly colored birds, so precise against her lovely translucent skin. It is really moving, capturing life, old and new, beginnings and endings, always cyclical.” – Thank you dear friend.

That was my experience of participating in this painting.  Life is a juxtaposition of collaboration or control. In collaboration, we all win.

 and thank you for reading.

4″ x 6″ Mini Print here.

 

 

WIP Painting – … and then along came The Girl

Stage two of three – Painting the girl.

In the last post I wrote about painting the polar bear. Next came “the girl” giving the bear a hug. The following images show the different steps of painting the girls face and hair. While I painted, I thought about what she would be wearing, and naturally, that would be a thick sweater and gloves. How was I to paint the texture of a knitted sweater? The detail needed for the knit seemed overwhelming, so I created test swatches to see if I could do it. The two knit test swatches and a detail shot from the final painting are included.

Next up will be the final stage.

The final painting with the background. I hope some of this has been interesting, helpful, and inspiring. – Thank you

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.

Ivan

Green Man, Nature Spirit, Brother

Today I saw the well-known bumper sticker that reads, “The Earth does not belong to us; we belong to the Earth.” – Chief Seattle. Again, I thought of the technology and intelligence available and ready with the solutions. And again, I ask that those businesses with the focus on profit only, wake up within to the concept of harmony for the greater good.  Taking care of the Earth first, and making a profit as well.

I think Ivan would agree.

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