Six children, eight kites, a five gallon cooler, four grown-ups & Grammy!
If you notice, I didn’t list Grammy with the grown ups. No mistake!
Painting en plein air with my grandchildren on the beach, I became a kid again.
Thinking I might capture quick portraits of the kids playing in the water, I hauled my painting gear over the dunes and set up my easel near the water.
Instead, 10-year-old Fiona watched me paint her mom and dad side by side with their kites ~ being kids!
I showed her how to block in the colors. Not too serious, simple shapes to make the eye think it is looking at a real kite!
Who knew I was talking to myself?
Looking at the picture of Fiona painting her ocean of dreams, with her dad watching over her ~ I see myself and my own dad.
Painting with Fiona that day shifted my gears. Somewhere between the paintings, I took my own advice and played with chunks of color.
It happened first as I played with this small painting of the lighthouse. At first I didn’t see the lighthouse. I knew it was there, so I walked down the beach to get a closer look.
Selecting this vantage point, I blocked in chunks of color. At first the lighthouse was light against light clouds. Then I changed angles slightly and began to see it as a shadow shape in front of the light background.
Seeing darks and lights is a lot like seeing the cup half full or half empty. I had become so avert to looking at the dark side of life, it was difficult to see the dark shapes. Light and dark define us. Einstein said everything is relative. And so it is!
Adding the line of dark dune grasses defines the foreground ~ and creates space beyond for us to see the lighthouse.
Does it look like lady liberty to you too? or is it just me?
I did see the light that day. Without even realizing anything had changed, I painted “World on a String.” While three of the kids flew their kites in the dunes, I played with color.
Simple and to the point. And yet …
It’s taken me a couple weeks to realize the shift in these paintings ~ and in myself. I set them aside and worked on my fabric project. Coming back to them, I feel the utter playfulness and joy I felt that day.
And I realize their exuberance and joy is now mine to treasure for a lifetime!