Acrylic & oil on stretched canvas.
“But the heavens, wrapped in wonder, knew the meaning of His birth…”
My sister turned 23 on Friday. She is living in an apartment attached to a house, and she’s been nagging me for art. Instead of allowing her to take something I’ve already finished, I decided to paint a larger piece that reflected Maria more personally. Maria likes bright colors. She loves Americana and is passionate about our young nation’s history. The piece that was formed from my knowledge of and love for my sister became “Independence”. The background is whiter than it appears here. I used Prussian blue, Grumbacher red, gold, and titanium white. Maria loved it, and I am quite happy with the result:
Did you know there are hundreds of islands all over the planet? Did you also know that there are hundreds of caves under these hundreds of islands? National Geographic recently did a spread about the beautiful caverns beneath the Bahamas. I loved the translucent shades of turquoise and aqua the divers’ lights cast. The contrast with the blackness of the foreground of the caves was quite striking. How did I grapple with my awe? I painted.
I remember the second plane hitting and the towers falling. I remember people running out of the city, the mass exodus across the Brooklyn Bridge, citizens coated in thick layers of dust and dirt and grime. I remember smoke and fear and sorrow and shock. What I remember most clearly, though, the first thing I ever think of when I hear “September 11” is people jumping out of windows. I remember the horror of watching people just like me, taking a hopeless situation into their own helpless hands and jumping, falling, clothes and limbs flailing about as they plummeted to earth and eternity. This is my clearest memory of that day.
CAVEAT: The following is a semi-sarcastic tirade of mine. This is not meant to start political arguments on my blog because, honestly, I just don’t care. Argue your politics on someone else’s blog.
If you’re still reading:
Global warming was not a smart term to create. No one understands it. Everyone keeps expecting temperatures to become higher and higher, all year, until the earth itself bursts into a massive ball of flames. I believe “climate change” to be a better term. Summers are far more hot, humid, and unbearable and winters are far more harsh, icy, and unbearable than they were when I was a kid. There’s been a huge increase in natural disasters, though they cannot be directly linked to climate change. But, come one! Russia is on fire! Greenland and the Poles (band name, anyone?) are melting! Jellyfish are taking over the ocean!
I find the whole climate change/global warming debate interesting: everyone seems to have scientific proof to back his/her opinions. I saw Al Gore’s film in my college chemistry class……what is it called? Something with an “I”……I don’t know, I can only think of Inception (awe-some!). I guffawed at the animation of polar bears becoming trapped on icebergs which floated out into the ocean, slowly melting until the polar bear had to swim for its life. Some say I have a twisted sense of humor, and that may be/is true, but I think Al went a bit over the top. The ice shelf may be melting, but I don’t think all the polar bears are so feeble-minded as to hang out on only those parts of ice which are breaking away. And, seriously, they wouldn’t realize what was happening and shift it to the mainland until they reached the middle of the ocean?!
ANYWAY, I painted the following piece based on some recent images of the melting of the ice shelf in Greenland. Greenland is melting!!! 🙂 I used only three colors and painted about 90% of the piece using a palette knife. In other words, this piece stretched me in many ways, and I’m really happy with the results.
I was never a little girl who wanted to grow up to be a ballerina, a princess, or an actress. Nope, about third or fourth grade I went through my very own “what-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up” phase. The careers I most considered were marine biology, meteorology, and astronomy. Yeah, I was a bit of a freak child. Though I went on to do none of those things, I still have a deep fascination for the sciences, especially astronomy. Have you ever seen any of the images sent back by the Hubble telescope?! They’re like massive, richly colored paintings, displays of color and light out in the great vastness of space. Anyway, I was inspired to create a piece based on those miracles of space, namely nebulae, where, quite often, birth is given to new stars.
I was devouring a recent issue of the Smithsonian Magazine when I came upon an interesting article concerning the nature of memories. A region of the brain, fabulously named the hippocampus, stores the memories we make. An electronic image was shown in the article, in which the microscopic nerve cells had been stained green to make them more visible. The gorgeous array is where information is encoded and memories are “made”. Due to my love for painting bright colors on black backgrounds, I took the intriguing image and painted the following:
A couple months ago, I read The Shack, which began slowly but turned into quite a powerful read for me. At one point in the book, God allows the protagonist to see people the way God does: in color and light. Ironically, I had discussed such a concept with my college roommate when we were seniors. If we saw each other as color and light, what colors would each person be? What if our souls, in fact, did appear in color and light? Anyway, after reading the novel, the first person who popped into my mind was my dear, beautiful friend, Kaye Lee. An extremely talented artist filled with intricate thoughts and a layered personality, I have loved Kaye dearly since I first met her. She is color and light.