The story of this painting involves many people.
First, my cousin Kelly and her family who moved to Collegeville several years ago, invited my family to dinner. We arrived early so that we could take a hike in the woods by her house before the early November sunset. On the way back to the house I fell behind the group.
I was casually looking for hearts and remembering my heart-finding friend Lisa Kelley's philosophy; she never finds them if she goes looking for them. I guess they find her. Just then I noticed the curve in an oak leaf.
I am a huge fan of the artist Andy Goldsworthy. He manipulates sticks, leaves, rocks, icicles...etc and makes lovely impermanent arrangements that he photographs before nature starts working on them again. With Goldsworthy in mind, I gave myself permission to fold the end of an oak leaf and layer another on top to make a heart. Then I took a picture.
The final trio in this painting's supporting cast is my two children and my mother. My mother took the kids on a meandering path to her house, giving me two hours with my paints.
On this Thanksgiving day, I am deeply grateful for all of the good people in my life. You are all a part of who I am and what I do. Now...I better get going and make the stuffing!
In the wake of hearing about so much hate this week, I needed to make something about love.
This sea urchin shell that I found in Canada in August actually did have a heart shaped hole in it. I did not keep it, but I did take a picture of it on a large rock near the place I found it on the shore of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec.
I think this just inspired a new series. So, I'm on the lookout for hearts. If I'm as lucky as my friend Lisa Kelley, maybe a few will come my way. If you see one somewhere in nature, feel free to send a picture of it to me!
Nature can soothe, if we let it. So can painting. Maybe that's why I paint images of nature so frequently...
As I tried to fall asleep on Tuesday night, which was no small feat on the night of the election, I envisioned nature and felt my body instantly relax. The image in my mind of a rainbow somewhere out west over a vast grassy plain came to me thanks to the Weather Channel's election counter-programming. From 3pm until midnight the network had a "nature marathon" filled with awe-inspiring landscapes of calm weather.
What a genius idea! Thanks Cat for adding a literal breath of fresh air to my Facebook feed by sharing this information!
As an environmentalist, I worry about the results of this election. However, I am also more inspired than ever to work to make positive change at the local level...whether I am making conscious choices in my household, volunteering to support sustainable efforts in my community, or celebrating nature with my artwork and sharing it with you!
This painting is of my son, Dylan. At 9 years old he is teaching me and my husband more about nature than we could ever hope to have known when we were children. I love exploring with him! He inspires me and he gives me hope that our future generations will continue to take care of the environment... no matter who is president.
Walking in nature is one of my favorite pastimes and Fairmount Park in Philadelphia (in particular, Valley Green) is one of the most glorious places to roam. My husband and I have been going there for years and now that our youngest child has her first hiking boots... we are a hiking family!
Last weekend we had a special treat. Old Man Steve (my brother) and my nephew Gabriel joined us in adventuring along the Wissahickon. It was warm for October and Gabi's feet were prepared for the water. Don't ask if he has socks on...you may not really want to know the answer. :)
So, a few housekeeping items about my blog here. It has a new title - Little Bee: Weekly Observations of Nature. My focus will be to enjoy and celebrate nature, and maybe some of my exploration of sustainable practices will slip in too as I educate myself while working to support my children's elementary school in that mission.
Take a Walk #1 will be the first in a series of scenes about outdoor adventuring.
One last thing...I reorganized the gallery. Check it out here. See you next week!