“Garden Party” is composed of my favorite subjects, birds and flowers. Who doesn’t love that! Well maybe I am a bit predacious.. Roses, for me, is a real challenge. Getting them to look realistic without looking stiff. I am always trying to capture the essence of the flower. Each time I paint them I feel I have learned a bit more than the last time I tried, so I am always anxious to start another one in anticipation of improving.
In this painting I was trying to capture the feeling of distance in a rose garden without actually showing a distance plane. As I worked on the painting I began to get bored with all the flowers and foliage so I decided it needed some life. I knew I wanted birds but didn’t know exactly how I wanted to incorporate them into the flower garden. My first thought was a bird bath but after laying it out in my mind I decided that would be too large for the scale of the flowers, so settled on a pot with bird seeds and a group of blue birds enjoying their meal in the shelter of the rose garden, and of course every garden has to have a few ants.
Evening Fall’s a Spiritual Journey, is a painting for my son Rob, who recently died of cancer. I wanted do a painting that represented his spiritual beliefs but didn’t know exactly what subject would be most appropriate.
After his passing his ex-wife and a close friend saw an owl and at the same time a shooting star fell to earth. Both thought how appropriate it was because they were both thinking of Rob when it happened on the same night of Sept. 12th. The ironic thing is, one lives in South Carolina and the other lives 2000 miles away in Colorado. Neither knew what the other had experienced till they shared their experience with each other at a later date. Their experience gave me the inspiration for his painting. I remembered Rob often commented on the owls he saw and the spiritual connection he felt to them. At that point, I realized, he had sent me a message letting me know exactly what he wanted me to paint! I began my search on Pinterest, one of my favorite social medium sites, and soon came across a beautiful piece of artwork by a very talented photographer/artist by the name of Angie, who specializes in Celtic scenes. It was a perfect representation for his painting. I wanted to ask permission to use her artwork as inspiration for Rob’s painting so I got busy and sent her an email. The following is her very gracious reply.
Thank you for your email and for taking the time to ask permission to use my Artwork for your painting. I am very sorry for your loss and I would be honoured for you to use my work as your inspiration. I have always had a deep spiritual connection with Owls myself and ‘Evening Falls’ is my personal favourite out of all the works I have created so far.
The inspiration behind the image was the song and video by Enya of the same name (Evening Falls)and is about memories and returning home – not necessarily in this life but may be another life or even the other side of this life. It has an other worldly feel to the song and that is what I wanted to capture in the picture – A feeling that the veil between this world and the next is thin and we can connect with those on the other side in our dreams.
The owl was photographed at a Medieval Fair in England and the Window is from a country church in Worcestershire, England. The background and the castle in the mist is Kilchurn Castle on the shores of Loch Awe , Highlands of Scotland.
My Birthday is September 11th – so the shooting star may well have been on my Birthday taking in to account the time difference between the UK and the USA. I like coincidences like that – in fact I don’t believe in coincidences, only messages from the Spirit world.
Please let me see the painting when it is finished. I would like to see it. I hope you feel connected to your Son as you paint it – as I am sure he will not be far from you.
Brightest Blessings to you and your Son looking over you.
One last thing I would like to relate to you before I end this rather long post. I don’t believe in coincidence’s either. Evening Falls, as you have read in Angie’s email the title of a song by Enya, which was Rob’s favorite artist. He would listen to her song “Evening Falls” most nights as he went to sleep. Coincidence or not?? Also, I was talking to my sister on the phone last night and I was explaining to her how I had decided on the subject for Rob’s painting and, quite unexpectedly, a long multi-colored bar of vibrating light appeared at the bottom of my iPad screen, one I had never seen before, and a bell began to ring?? I was confused as to what kind of message I was getting. My sister asked what the noise was and I said I don’t know maybe a private message coming in for me but when I went to check I had no new messages from anyone. I just laughed and said “I guess Rob is letting me know he approve’s……..
“Water-color Garden” started out loose and then turned tight. So enlightening for me to realize how fast you can switch from right brain to your left. Needless to say, I am still working on my water-color technique, improving but not there yet. Which for me is exciting because the learning of new things is why I get up in the morning and I hope I never loose that excitement. There is a learning curve with all new things, whether it is a new medium or style of painting or new things you experience in life, for that matter. If it was too easy it wouldn’t be a challenge and, for me at least, that would be boring. So with that in mind I am having fun with the challenge. Each time I pick up my brush I learn a new way of expressing my subject in this beautiful medium, and that keeps me coming back for more! My goal is to have, at the least, a cursory level of understanding in all the major mediums. I do believe that will allow me to elevate my abilities in all forms of art. My goal is to incorporate numberous mediums into my art, which has been coined as mixed media art. I like pushing the limits on what is comfortable and usual into something that is different and unusual, but at the same time is pleasing to the eye.
I have babbled on for long enough. My hope is this will inspire you to try new mediums and see where it leads you in your art quest. I will leave you with this thought, paint, paint and then paint some more…xoxo’s, Barbie