Happy Summer Sunflowers

summersunflowers
Acrylic on Paper, 22″ x 30″, $450.

Our town had their Thursday Stroll last evening. Hubby was at a meeting. Not really needing anything, I found myself enticed by pictures posted on Facebook of some lovely sunflowers on sale from our local florist, Medford Florist and Gift. Parking in front of NJBalance & Wellness, I stopped in to see Susan to get an Angel Card reading to help me understand the meaning of the “touch of the angels” disguised in the form of an electric surge from the lightning.

She advised I was to make my plans, fertilize my fields and remember to give it up to God. To stop the worry, to stop thinking I can control it. Normally good at staying in the moment, I’d gotten myself into a frenzy the morning of the storm. Worrying about losing electricity, my husband’s trip to Trenton. She kindly explained, I was just peeling back another layer, and to continue on my path.

Stopping by the florist always makes me happy. Simon, the delightful owner brings a smile just thinking about his lovely British accent. Such eye candy are his floral arrangements. He helped me pick my sunflowers (of which one was dropped back at NJBalance & Wellness for her assistance).

Summer is here, I’m feeling back to myself, with another lesson learned under my belt.

Happy Summer Sunflowers is huge compared to my normal paintings. Painted with acrylics in the kitchen standing at an easel. Not my normal procedure. But these golden petals called to be painted that way. And if I am aware of nothing else on this first glorious day of summer, I am indeed going to listen .

Touched by an Angel

Watercolor 9" x 12" $125.
Watercolor 9″ x 12″ $125.

No thunder, no flash, just the jolt of electricity traveling through my dominant left hand on the plugged in computer, splitting the air with an angry burst of crackle. So intense it startled the geriatric dog from her napping spot by the window. The ominous yellow and red radar on the Weather Channel snapped dead.

In the sudden quiet, the dark rolled in, and the thunder and lightning boomed but the electricity returned. I was assured my cable problem would be resolved by the afternoon. Sitting, trying to steady myself in my studio, I heard another crash. A suction cup holding a balsa wood carved half moon ornament hanging on my kitchen window had let go, crashing into my Serenity Angel. Cleanly decapitated, she lay ominously in the sink.

Our peaceful home had been disturbed. Damage slowly appeared like spider veins. Well water turned mucky resulting in laundry being ruined, bottled water the drink of choice, and a lull in our ability to shower. I was assured the neighborhood cable problems had been resolved, but we were still out. The next morning, we were shocked into the reality of a fried coffee pot.  No television, no internet for 24 hours and our stress-relieving hot tub would not stay on. Several lights and outlets stopped working.

It would have been time for Jack Daniels, but using the ice cubes would have drawn mud into the ice cube maker.

Thankfully, we are on the path to peace again, but I have been….shall we put it mildly…rattled. In this morning’s painting class, in order to center and return to my roots, I broke out my childhood Breyer Horses for models. Horses, glorious horses. Soothing to my soul. We worked on painting loosely. Well within my comfort zone.

Thanking the Angels for a multitude of reasons: no fire, no serious damage, the angel’s head is glued back on and my left hand can still hold a paint brush!

But like the damage left behind, I am left with a nagging. Listening to my angels, I’ve always considered one of my strengths. So seriously, guys and gals, what was THAT about? (Besides the obvious: stay off the computer even if they’re just calling for thunderstorms.) When I get my answer, I’ll be sure to let you know.

In the meantime, my friends “Be Blessed”. I certainly am.

May the Angels Watch Over You.

Angel

My first painting of 2013, Wishful Thinking, sold at my opening reception. Sold to someone I’d never met. She was visitng the Palmyra Cove Nature Center, I believe to birdwatch. She was buying the painting for a newborn’s christening. The gift would be accompanied by a card that stated “Every young woman needed a start to her art collection.” And what better piece of art than a Guardian Angel. May she watch over this blessed young woman.

The show, the reception all felt like a great accomplishment. Lots of work in framing and planning, lots of schlepping of paintings and food for the reception. All culminated in a day filled with friends old and new, family, collectors, and the meeting of complete strangers. As most of you know, nine of my thirty-three paintings have found their forever walls.

Afterwards I was pretty busy with the mundane of art. Invoices, finishing more framing, and starting to wonder: “What’s next”. A commission on the desk, a hallway show in the summer (Do I have enough paintings now?) Will have to get the paintings delivered at the end of the month, I need to paint some more, where was the receipt for that frame……

One day I was stopped in my tracks by a bird at the feeder. Bigger than most, eyestripe, striped chest. Binos, then scope confirmed a female redwinged blackbird. Not a common visitor to the feeders. Oooops, what’s that flittering in the back corner – yellow, tail wagging – palm warbler – first of year warbler. Good heavens is that a turkey back there – yes it is. And the birds kept coming. An hour and a half later I realized I’d set a record for the number of birds I’d seen in my yard.

Since my resignation from my “day” job, birds and angels have merged together in my new found path. When the birds beckon at the feeders, I stop what I’m doing. It’s as though they are sent to remind me of the beauty of my life. No schedules. The freedom is mine. In the “message of the feather” I take time for the present. And in doing so nourish my soul, fuel my creativity and gratitude.

Do they watch over you?

Win-Win

IMG_5657This morning a call from my sister included a reminder about an upcoming birthday that I had forgotten.

Into the studio I fled. Simply stated, I just cannot send a card that I haven’t made. But there was a bit of a time constraint on this one.

Out came the box of “practice” paintings, the scissors and my sweet Xylon tape runner. The first painting I grabbed was perfect. Some cute flowers but terrible composition, heavy looking foliage and just plain unattractive – except for certain parts. Painted in Hawaii, the low humidity made my usual wet-into-wet painting difficult and this small painting was proof positive. Chopping out the flower, and another bud with my sharp pointed scissors, I also found some scrap book paper that shared the palette. Boom, bang, bing, I had a card. And in fact, I made two more for the future.

A rewarding, quick project, I felt like a kid, cutting and pasting. It helped to prune the bin of practice paintings, and I hope it will be appreciated by the receivee.

What do you do with your practice paintings?