Day after day, the relentless call came to me “Look over here, create !” I was possessed by the early morning scene that stretched across the eastern sky each day on my walk and the earlier I went out, the more beautiful it became. The yellows and oranges were bursting as the fog gently hovered just above the damp ground on each cool mid-spring morning. After a few days I succumbed to the call.
I had a piece of board in the studio that I had hand primed with a burgundy pastel primer and had been waiting for the right time to put into use. I spent about 5 days working on this pastel painting, but four days out of the five I had truly decided in the middle of the night to fold it up and just throw it away. “Just be done-give it up, throw it away!” the night voices would tell me. But my heart spoke another song, the same song it spoke when the scene called my name, so I persevered.
And on the last day, as the scene then became the painting, it spoke again, this time in silence. I added the final touches and walked away.
There she was, on her pedestal in that beautiful old cemetery. She was so mournful and so beautiful at the same time with her wreath in hand and I was so compelled to paint her. She had no name attached as a monument to the loved one that she represented. She just knelt there, outside the chapel forever mourning the one she had lost.
“Prayerful Thoughts”, isn’t that the silent attitude that is evoked when we grace the entrance to a cemetery? It is the peaceful reverence for those that have gone on to the unseen place that we know truly exists. It is the knowing that the other side is real because we all love and have known so many that have gone on before us. And love will never ever die, because it continues to live on in us for those that have gone on before. We also know that we too must go on and one day we will, it is a fact.
She is painted in oil on an 18″ x 20″ linen canvas, so fitting for what she represents. And she still brings a sense of peace, even as she mourns on my studio wall.
I hope that I have not alarmed you with my sense of bereavement, it’s just that old cemeteries and old statues bring that out in me, and they are beautiful.
Winter has taken a toll, even on my thoughts and attitude and I think it is time for spring to arrive. It is time for my “prayerful thoughts” to be centered on the resurrection of Christ, the most important event that is celebrated in all of time. My next blog post will be more on that cheerful note! In the meantime, Christ died even for you, take Him at His word, He will never fail you.
“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Here are Anne’s geraniums, and you might ask, who is Anne? You know… Anne (the Anne with an e) Shirley, of “Anne of Green Gables” fame. If you’ve read the book or seen the movie (preferably the movie made in 1985), how could you not have fallen in love with it? Our entire family did just that and we have watched it over and over and over again on our original and antiquated VCR tapes. We’re enraptured with emotion every time Anne and Matthew take the buggy ride to Green Gables through “White Way Delight” and have shed a tear every time Matthew dies. And oh, the music……!
I have visited the Green Gables home on Prince Edward Island in Canada two times. Most recently the summer of 2017 with my daughter and three oldest granddaughters. We drove up through rural Maine and into rural Canada for quite some time, then onto the island via the giant 8 mile long bridge across the Northumberland Strait. The original 1996 trip had no bridge, you had to swim…jk….we took a car ferry to the island. 🙂
If you aren’t familiar with the story, author Lucy Maude Montgomery wrote the Anne Of Green Gables novel in 1908. In real life, Green Gables was the home of her cousins where she spent much of her childhood. In the book it is portrayed as the home of middle age siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. Anne was an orphan who was adopted by Matthew and Marilla, who thought they were getting a boy, and the story begins on that note.
So we took a lovely tour of Green Gables. Walking through the historical house, there on the kitchen windowsill stood the two pots of geraniums, most likely just as Anne had left them. The sun had cast itself through the window onto the cheerful bright red flowers. Those flowers paired with the brilliant spring green leaves made them appear as thin florescent tissue paper, simply happy to be who they were created to be in all their beauty.
I chose oil paints as my medium to paint the living bouquet in the window. My favorite part to paint was the reflective light of the sun shining on the right side of the window and the windowsill. I truly didn’t see it when I started the painting, how exciting it was to find the reflection as I painted and studied the photo! It was nice to reconnect with the feelings I had when I originally saw the flowers at Green Gables that day. I enjoy the challenge of recreating an event, a time or a place, an experience that evokes meaning to me. This connection materializes memories that make me thankful to be able to share the gift that I have and therefore hopefully create a sense of joy to the viewer.
I wonder if Anne would have named the painting “Anne’s Geraniums”, I doubt it. She probably would have called it “Glorious Light Of Splendor” or “Stained Glass Sunshine”, something a little more dramatic. I simply wanted this painting to remind me of my time on the island with my girls and all of the interesting and unique Anne experiences we had that week in July, the summer of 2017.
There are more Prince Edward Island paintings to come, some in pastel, some in oils. We also made a stop at Acadia National Park on the way home, many oceans are waiting to be painted! I am willing to part with this painting, as attached as I am. I paint because I want to, I also paint to make the viewer happy. Contact me if you are interested in letting this painting make you, or someone you love, happy!
This is Crimson Farm. It is an old place that was up the road when we lived close to Caesar Creek State Park. It still stands but at one time it was a beauty, at least I thought so even in it’s slightly raggedy condition. It was beginning to show some wear and grow weeds all around so I thought I had better get in the car, get up there and take a photo before it was too late.
Later in the studio, it was especially fun to paint with the reds, pale greens and faded blue sky. The photo was taken on a sunny day which washed out most of the natural color, all except the barn and silos which helps make them the standout in their worn out condition. I used oil paints and a palette knife to paint with instead of a brush which gives the painting so much texture. A palette knife is very freeing, especially for someone like me who likes to pick out and include every detail in a picture and include those details in a painting.
Another interesting aspect of this painting is the fact that I used a Masonite panel as my support which was painted with hot pink gesso (which I mixed up myself). If you look close enough you will find little sparks of hot pink that pop out from beneath. Some might say “what is that?” This little painting measures a mere 12″ x 6″ and is set in a wooden frame that blends with the deep red of the barn. It hangs in my living room for the time being, is quite lovely and is for sale (if you are interested or would like to look simply contact me).
This old barn and these silos don’t necessarily have a dramatic story to go along with them, at least from my point of view, but I am sure that they’ve seen enough life of their own, if this old farm could talk.
It’s amazing, as I get older I am learning to be content with simple things. A little bit of ground to grow my own food, a few critters running around in their creature world simply being who they were created to be, I want to be that. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to figure that out, not to go back to the “what ifs”, but to accept each day as it has been given. To be content and know that it is all in God’s providence. To know that He is the giver of this gift of life, we have not asked for it, it has been freely given. I am grateful to have been thought of in the heart of God before the beginning of time and am overwhelmed. My hope is that some of my paintings will bring you the same joy and peace, an extension of the love of God.
I am bringing back an oldie here and think it appropriate for the days we are living in. This pastel painting titled “Peace! Be Still” was done in 2001, the year my dad died. A Peace Lily was given to us for the occasion. I loved the fact that a lily could represent peace and it truly did for me during that time. This plant gave me comfort through the grieving process. I wanted to extend that comfort and apply it on paper using the gift I have been given, maybe someone else could benefit. The softness of the flowers connected to each other in a mystical way representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The red drops falling off the leaves which represent the Blood of the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. That was, and still is my message.