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. 



Inspiration for a Painting Commission: Cinque Terre

The rooftops on this painting reminded my clients of living in Cinque Terre!

Oh my! Over the holidays I took on a painting commission. The painting the couple loved best was too small for the place they envisioned hanging it. So we decided to create another painting to fit the space.

abstract landscape painting
Lavender Sunset, 36″ x 24″, oil, See more info>     Prints starting at $35>

Painting commissions are a wonderful collaboration of ideas, inspiration, memories

Once we agreed on the size, creative energy filled us with ideas. My client emailed me three watercolors she’d painted years ago that reminded her of the painting. I am so excited, colors and ideas are spilling out onto other paintings in my studio.

My client’s conversation about the turquoise sea opened by eyes about how to finish an unfinished painting called “Tapestry.”  And when I’d finished it, I could hear it’s new name, “The Watchtower! ”

inspirational art
The Watchtower, Purchase Info>

When I returned from my client’s home, I could see beyond the woven layers of paint. As I painted in the turquoise sea between the massive edifice ~ I saw the watchtower, a stairway to the heavens, a narrow frame of mind as each prayer relays communications heaven and earth.

I like that there is more to this painting than the struggle I was caught in. I had started it when I returned from France four years ago. It feels really nice to know the painting has a good message and is finished. Now it’s ready for a good home.

Prints of both Lavender Sunset, and The Watchtower start at $35. Shop Now>

Call me if you have a place for it in yours!

How to Capture Magic?

So many people urged me to go to Venice ~ I am so glad I did! The light, people, action ~ all were magical like no other place on earth. The experience is one I will take with me forever.

Venice street scene, San Marco
Venice Afternoon, oil, 8 x 10,  Purchase Info>

So how to capture such an experience in a painting? In Venice I found myself fascinated with the light and shadows of people moving along the cobbled stone walkways. A constantly ebbing and flowing movement of shapes, colors and light. Nothing stationary but the timelessness of the place itself.

So how to capture the feeling of movement, timelessness and magic?

I took a stab at it on this little painting. I have included some detail pics of the painting, as the palette knife work got quite involved. I think the texture conveys as much of the feeling as do the colors.

Your thoughts?

Venice oil painting
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Muses of Tuscany Retreat>
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