When I paint a flower I feel an overwhelming bliss – an excitement to capture the beauty and magic of what I see and feel when I am in their glorious presence.
I am never happier than when I have a house full of flowers and the scent hangs on the air. Or when I am in my garden just being present with the smell of lavenders on the breeze.
They are my main source of inspiration because I still cannot fully fathom their exquisite beauty. Eckhart Tolle put it in a nutshell when he said that we could look upon flowers as the enlightenment of plants. I could look upon flowers all day and still be mesmerized. They are a true gift to us and to gaze upon their delicate wonder is to look at the unfolding of pure potential.
As promised, in my previous blog about whales (read here), this art blog is going to be about painting dolphins. As I explained in the ‘Why you have to love whales’ blog – I live in Cape Town and am privileged to see these beautiful mammals expressing their joyous souls on a regular basis.
I have not, sadly, swum with them (yet) – as was the case with the whale – but I have seen pods of dolphins in the False Bay area and what a sight and fuel for inspiration they are!
I have no fantastic tales (or tails) to regale with today so I am simply going to stick to the technical aspects of painting underwater scenes…
The technical side of painting underwater (and no, not physically!)
Painting underwater scenes are quite involved as they require a lot of layering. This ‘wash’ of blue that needs to be repeated until the desired effect is achieved, needs time and patience…and I paint in acrylics – for those who paint in oils the process takes even longer as the drying time is slower.
The first layer consists of getting the basic blue background started – then I apply the subject matter.
When that is done the watered-down blue paint wash layering begins until the right monotone colour is produced and ready to go out into the world.
The most rewarding part of this journey is in the varnishing. As soon as you apply that coat of gloss varnish the painting comes alive and the water looks wet again (like it does when the paint is first set to canvas).
Perhaps this can give you a better appreciation of how much time and effort (or in some cases, curses and tears) goes into these deceptively tricky aquatic scenes.
With every work of art comes the inspiration behind it. With this painting, as with the whale painting, I have put it down in the form of a poem.
‘Dolphins – The Spirit of Freedom’
You never let us forget how to love How to laugh How to smile How to be light-hearted
You never let us forget how to be In the moment In this space In this time
You never let us forget about beauty About simplicity About friendship About sincerity
You never let us forget about fun Being in the heart Playing with each other Soaking up the bliss
You never let us forget why we love you so Why we feel connected Why you are important Why you are here
You never let us forget Who we are Why we are When we are
Please never let us forget
If you also have an affinity for dolphins and would like to splash out and have this original painting gracing your wall – click here for details. I also have a wide variety of products to choose from with this specific dolphin design – for prints, posters and greeting cards click here, for gift ideas click here.
For those of you who still need convincing about how wonderful dolphins are, please do yourself a favour and watch this incredible short video – your heart will melt…go on, you know you want to. 🙂
Today’s blog is going to be about the mammals of the world beneath the waves and what inspired me to paint this picture (left).
I live in Cape Town, in the False Bay area. We are privileged to get the annual migration of whales to our seas every year round about July/August. It is such an inspiration to be able to watch these majestic creatures from the shore as they play and parade their beautiful bodies for us to take snap shots of (I do believe that some of them definitely ‘work it’ for the camera!).
“After much coaxing, my father got me to come down off his shoulders and reach out as this tremendous toddler swam by…”
An Real-Life Encounter with a Human Toddler and a Baby Whale
I was only about 4 years old when I got to touch my first free-range whale. My father and I where swimming at the notorious Fish Hoek beach (recently been in the news for shark attacks) when a calf – wanting to ‘play’ with another baby (me) – casually made its way towards us.
I was initially terrified, even a baby whale is the size of a small car!
After much coaxing, my father got me to come down off his shoulders and reach out as this tremendous toddler swam by, allowing me to touch it’s back before it swam away back to its mother.
An experience I shall never forget and one that has led me to feel a great bond with them.
“I often get a flipper coming out of the water in recognition (or perhaps telling me to stop)”
My husband often raises an eyebrow when we are out walking along the coastline and I start wailing like Dori from ‘Finding Nemo‘ (you know, the fish character played by Ellen DeGeneres who can ‘talk’ to whales) but I tell you now – it works! I often get a flipper coming out of the water in recognition (or perhaps telling me to stop).
But on a more serious note – how can you not be inspired by such creatures?!
My first painting of a whale was a creation of the pure love I have for these amazing mammals. I am not going to go into too much semantics about them because I put my feelings down in this simple poem…oh go on – have a read then!
In the depths of the ocean you reside Anchoring the light for all Majestic and graceful You help us from afar Your song passed down through generations You never lose sight of your goal Determined in purpose Showing the way Amidst the adversity of lower vibrations You carry on your star mission
Some of us feel your presence And we love you and thank you
Like the pod, we are all one Unity consciousness will prevail And contracts will be fulfilled Our gratitude is yours As are our hearts
My next blog is going to be about…you guessed it – dolphins. Well, we can’t leave them out you know.