I’ve been to the Windy City six, seven, or eight times before, but this was my first time experiencing Millennium Park. I don’t know how that happened.
While I was enchanted by the massive portrait fountains, I was more fascinated by the great congregation of people. I saw skin tones of every shade, an array of cultural backgrounds, and everyone from toddling babies to aged cane-wielders. All of them, brought together to this place, to refresh themselves in the water.
*This was my favorite of the photos I took here. Everything about it is so graceful.
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.
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 don’t know how things like this continuously happen to my family, but we honestly cannot do anything without some sort of hilarious (in hindsight) catastrophe. Wanna know what happened this time?
Our ancient washing machine bit the dust. It’s been dying a slow death for quite a while now, but it has completely given up on us. Mama purchased a new one and it is coming tomorrow. However, the good old days when the installation men would remove the old, hook up the new, and leave with the old are long gone, so we had to unhook everything for ourselves. This was a disaster. Our bathroom flooded, Dad cut him self and was bleeding everywhere (I seriously thought he’d popped a vein), and we could not get the water turned off. As we near 9:30, I’ve paused to update you all and reflect on my glass of Shiraz. I’ve never, ever seen Dad so angry, but at least it was at an inanimate object.
And I still have my Lemon Sour Cream Pound cakes to bake!!! Oh, washing machine……why now?!
Part of our final requirements for advanced painting was a series of paintings. This put me in a panic: less than a week to produce a series of paintings?! I was suddenly struck by the Old Testament plagues on Egypt, the overwhelming terror and misery they must have produced. I tried to the best of my ability to capture that in my series of ten, small paintings. It ended up being my favorite pieces produced in that class, my final art class of college. Here is the first:
“As Pharaoh and all of his officials watched, Aaron raised his staff and struck the water of the Nile. Suddenly, the whole river turned to blood! The fish in the river died, and the water became so foul that the Egyptians couldn’t drink it. There was blood everywhere throughout the land of Egypt.” Exodus 7:20-21
There are so many things that many of us take for granted: food, clothing, shelter, fresh air, sunshine, laughter. Most of us never even consider where our water comes from, that it is clean and pure and we have it in abundance, whenever we want. So many people all over the world must walk for miles to retrieve one pitcher of clean water to last all day. These people have a basic need that is not being met. Groups such as Charity Water and Blood Water Mission are working to bring the clean, refreshing water these people must have to survive.
Scott Harrison of Charity Water took the following picture, which beautifully illustrates the gift of water: