It is time once again for my annual retrospective. Here is a collection of nine favourite paintings from the last year ~ three birds, a port, a rainbow, a river, a few fuchsias, and lots of clouds and trees. Of course other things also happened. There were the colouring-in pages that I created at the start of the pandemic (when painting was the last thing I felt like doing but I had to do something). I also gave my blog and profile picture a bit of a makeover, created a Portfolio page, and made a new range of arty little fridge magnets. But, really, when it comes to art, if I’m not putting paint on canvas, I’m not happy. Six months went by e.v.e.r. s.o. s.l.o.w.l.y. and then ~ for no particular reason that I can recall ~ I started painting again. Putting together a collection for this anniversary post, it seems to me that I may have made up for the lost time : )
Don’t ask me where this is. It’s not important. It was late summer, early in the morning. The air was damp and the mountains were obscured by low cloud. We didn’t mind; there was beauty around every corner and we weren’t in a hurry. As the clouds began to lift and catch the light, the mood began to shift and the river tumbled on as if this had been nothing extraordinary.
I love the way seagulls park on street lights. What views they must have! I gave this painting the working title ‘Seagull Parking’ but I always knew that was a little too obscure to be a keeper. The inspiration was a photo I took in a carpark ~ in the golden hour before the sun sets ~ while we were waiting to collect our pizza. Yes, inspiration is everywhere : )
The original plan was to create something more like the reference photo, quite subdued and almost monotone with the seagull as the focal point, but the purple/grey underpainting took it in a different direction ~ one which was more in keeping with how spectacular the sky really looked that evening ~ and that meant rethinking the title.
P.S. I’m particularly pleased with those two birds flying in the background. The simpler it is, the harder it is.
New Zealand, you inspire me!
The following six-word stories were prompted by the Page Flutter Six-Word Story Challenge. I’m also posting a few of my favourites over on Instagram.
16. Mother’s young, her pride and joy.
17. The hidden path, hidden no longer.
18. Yellow boots: sunshine for grey days.
19. Hatchlings peeped at their new world.
20. Cloud animals carelessly mix and mingle.
21. She planted a kiss. Love grew.
22. Thunderbolt and lightning… very, very frightening.
[April prompts: mother’s young, hidden path, yellow boots, hatchlings, cloud animals, planted, thunderstorm.]
“Draw on both sides of the line, not just what you’re enclosing. The shape you’re making on the outside is as important as the one you’re making on the inside.” Leon Polk Smith
My latest painting, the one that began last week with this photo and sketch: a combination of brilliant sunlight and playful cloud shapes. And who doesn’t love finding things in the clouds?
I’m reminded of the Joni Mitchell song Both Sides, Now: “I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow it’s cloud illusions I recall ― I really don’t know clouds at all.”