Low Hanging Fruit in the Garden

“Slip in the side door,” she whispered to her closest friends.

“… the hot pink door with the low hanging tangerines.”

The entry would be missed by most, but we didn’t because Antonella has invited us.

sorrento paintings
Tangerine Tango, oil on canvas, prints on canvas and watercolor paper See Pricing>

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Tangerine Tango juxtaposes a traditional architectural structure with man made placement of fruit tree and window garden. Dark and Light values mirror woman’s inclination to know herself through dramatic contrasts!

The composition of the painting places the facade of this societal structure squarely front and center in the painting, framing it with the turquoise sky, a symbol of the Divine in all people, and the open doorway at the far left edge. Marked by the low hanging fruit, tangerine/orchid color play, the Creator within invites us to slip inside unnoticed.

Did I know all this when I selected this street scene from Sorrento to paint? Get real! How could anyone?

What I knew was that I really, really liked the dark painted wood frame of the windows on the shop and the linens hanging in the window. I was also taken with the lush tangerine, orange, and lemon trees all over Sorrento. More about them later.

For this painting I simply placed the tree that was planted there a little further in front of the shop. Then I composed the painting with the band of striking turquoise and vibrant green at the right edge ~ because it felt right!

The hot pink awning didn’t arrive in the painting until after I’d had a dream about it. In the dream, “He didn’t show up at work. Put a pink belt on with the orange.”

Yes, it was one of those non-sense dreams ~ until I wrote the thing down. At once I knew that the ‘pink belt’ meant the band of the awning across the center of my painting from the day before.

“Okay, I’m good with that.”

I painted it in and hung it on the wall.

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Inspirational Wall Decal Poster
Inspirational Wall Decal Poster, See Pricing>

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Don’t you think she looks like she’s doing the tango? Kind of leaning way over where any conscious woman might fall if she weren’t supported by the Creator within … No! I didn’t paint the shop leaning over on purpose! She just turned out that way.

Do I fix her? NOT! I love her just as she is!

By the way, I’m taking the Creator’s advice and plucking the low hanging fruit. Slipping in the side door, instead of waiting until I have all the paintings for this book done, edited, and published …. well, here’s your chance to support this project in the making.

Purchase this art

Pluck this low hanging fruit? Read along as I have time to write and publish painting by painting, story by story.

Support the Joy’s Garden Project

I’m sure you can think of someone who would be inspired by this illustrated story. It’s a perfect gift for a soul sister who needs to hear, “just go for the low hanging fruit honey!” Get her the inspirational wall decal ~ she’ll think of you every time she plucks a tangerine!

Check out Pricing on the Wall Decal>

While you’re picking out the art, share this story on your favorite social media or email it to a friend. It’s okay, they’ll thank you for sharing!

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One Pink Field Turned Green ~ Color Field Painting or Something More?

In a dream last week, I saw a pink highlight on a shiny metal statue. Over and over again, the same image reappeared. Then suddenly, I saw the pink changed to a more neutral color.  The dream felt like being in a rainbow, and I knew before the dream was gone ~ which painting the dream was about.

Why is it we can see something one day, so obvious, that all previous days was invisible?

The dream woke me up. Quickly making my coffee, I headed to the palette. Lavande Magic was still on the easel. The painting had been driving me crazy for five years. Ever changing color fields, when one changed ~ they all shifted like dominoes set up in an intricate landscape of undulating hills and valleys.

healing with color
Detail of the pink field

You can see the pink field in this detail photo of the painting. Not a small painting by any means, three by four feet of color swatches side by side, it was tempting to paint over the whole thing!@%&z

That little pink square is 1/2″ square! I painted over it with Verdigris.

color field paintings
detail pink field, painted with verdigris

When that tiny square of pink highlight moved to green on the spectrum ~ all the other pink highlights did the same. Look in the field behind it, to the side, and down through the field in front ~ they all now have the verdigris highlights.

The shift is actually a spectral opposite. Green is the opposite of red. More specifically, pink/verdigris are cool pale red/cool pale green.

This is just a fraction of what happened to the whole painting, however.

color field paintings
unfinished painting

In the unfinished painting above, the intense pink fields in the foreground are most obvious. It is difficult to see beyond them. Everything else is hot, or cold.

Below, you can see the shift. That one verdigris field softened everything. With it, I cooled the shadows in the foreground as well as the fields in the middle ground.

color field paintings
Lavande Magic, final version

I softened the screaming yellow highlights on the trees between the buildings with it. And in the distance as well.

And then it happened. I mixed up a dark green shadow color and painted it into the back sides of the foliage on the left side of the painting. A smidge of it cooled off the cypress trees in the distance as well.

When I stepped back and looked again at the canvas, I saw the yellow wash of color gently lighting the cloud. I brushed it softly over the top of the cloud and into the atmosphere around it.

I have been afraid of my darkness. So afraid of acknowledging the terrible day when I was attacked in the safety of my own studio, I blocked it all out.

Blocking out that one day, trying not to be a victim ~ shaped everything about me. I fought really hard not to appear stupid or naive. What person would be naive enough to try to help someone who was intending to kill you?

Avoiding the dark, my colors screamed with light. Like a deer caught in the headlights ~ I have been frozen, unable to move to protect myself.

What will change now? I don’t know. It’s hard to imagine life any other way. Thirty-five years is a long time.

How could one pink field shift everything?

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The Magic of Lavender

On my first day in France, I went in search of lavender fields to paint. Little did I know how much lavender would influence my art over the next five years.

Joy;s Garden colorful abstract landscape painting
Joy’s Garden, oil

The Magic of Lavender

The full story is in my book, Joy’s Garden Embrace the Mountain. Color has always been a major inspiration to my painting, though recently lavender is taking a leading role.

Not to spoil the story in the book, lavender played a large role on my pastel palette years ago when I first began painting in the late 70s. Working my way around the spectrum, over time my interests ebbed and flowed according to my emotional whims.

I have always believed it to be my role as an artist to paint how something “feels,” rather than how it “looks.” When I begin a painting, I do not usually have an image of how it will look at the start. Instead, it is a feeling that tells me I must paint to satisfy something deep inside.

lavender fields painting
Lavande Magic, oil

Lavande Magic

The urge to paint brings me back to the first day in France ~ when I felt I simply must paint this … The painting finally complete, Lavande Magic, has lived up to its name. Perhaps you can see how Joy’s Garden (top of the page), is part of the landscape from Lavande Magic ~ up into the foreground?

Of course, there’s lots of symbolism in these images. For starters, what was off in the distance five years ago ~ is now front and center. And all those swirling lavender fields? Those are the swirls of creative energy moving about. Can you see how they are all moving in unison? No static.

And there’s a picture story about the villa in the painting. It’s in the book too.

Joy’s Garden Embrace the Mountain

I hope you will see something of yourself in the story of Joy’s Garden. I hope you will feel the colors too, as you see the paintings and read the stories of how they are connected to dreams and the everyday stuff of life.  I am thrilled to announce that Joy’s Garden Embrace the Mountain  is out in print! You can order a copy, along with the CreativSOUP Journal.

Click on over and Peek Inside the Book>

And I invite you to see the paintings from the book in the Joy’s Garden Gallery.