Is Cobalt Violet Missing from YOUR Life?

It was missing from mine!

It all began in the lavender fields.

It was four years ago when I went to France to paint them. I had no idea that lavender would have such a powerful force. In fact in Provence, I found the color and fragrance of lavender quite illusive.

Yet it started my dreams cascading

Joys Garden Dorothy Fagan
Joy’s Garden, oil on canvas, 36 x 48″, Click image to shop

Joy’s Garden

Yet here it is. Joy’s Garden is in my studio larger than life. I didn’t know the title of it. I looked on the back of the canvas yesterday to discover I had written it there a year ago.

I’d found the painting rolled up last week, unfinished. I wondered if I would be able to rescue it? That’s when I had the dream about lavender.

fleurs Dorothy Fagan
Fleurs, oil on canvas, 12″ x 9″ Click image to shop

Fleurs

Fleurs was sitting on the chair by the easel begging to have it’s shadows lightened, just a tad. “Great,” I thought, “a small one to test this notion about warm lavender.”

Still sipping my coffee, I squeezed out some Rubine Lake and mixed it with Cyclamen. Adjusting it cooler and warmer, I painted it in under the shadows of the leaves. Then suddenly the sky demanded Turquoise.

Wow! It glows!

In the meantime a painting from my Cascading Dreams Series sold. We crated it up and sent it to a new home in California. In the process, other unfinished Cascading Dreams paintings found their way into the studio again.

“mmmmm,” I wondered. “Where is this going? Something must be up.”

Cascading Dreams

Cascading Dreams Dorothy Fagan
Cascading Dreams II, oil on canvas, 36″ x 24″  Click image to shop

Cascading Dreams II was already on the easel. I noticed that same lavender, warm and cool, beginning to show it’s face.  My dream pointed to the warm reddish lavender, Cobalt Violet as it moves into deep cool red.

Danza del Tramonto

Dancing in the Sunset

Danza del Tramonto (Sunset Dance)
Danza del Tramonto (Sunset Dance), oil on canvas, 30″ x 24″  Click image to shop

After testing the color on Fleurs, I put Danza back on the easel. I scraped out layers of paint and sanded the painting down to it’s shadows. Beginning with the deep violet trees in the foreground, I painted in the new color relationships.

Wow! I LOVE the sparkling colors! The deep teals, lush meadow greens, and the warmth and verve feel wonderfully invigorating.

The Phoenix

dream landscape Dorothy Fagan
The Phoenix, oil on linen, 11″ x 14″  Click image to shop

A small painting I had begun in France was sitting on the chair nearby. I had repainted it several times since returning home. The palette feels so close, yet not quite as grounded.

Airy and light, it feels like flying!

The Villa

The Villa Dorothy Fagan
The Villa, oil on canvas, 24″ x 30″  Click image to shop

On the wall above it hung this painting of The Villa. Nearly finished, I felt the same ethereal quality and I could see exactly where the warm reddish lavender needed to go.

How Joy’s Garden Came to Life

I painted it in, the brush dancing in my hand. Like signing my name, the calligraphy felt comfortable and effortless.

How could one color change the world so? I have wished for decades to feel the paint brush as comfortable as my pastels. My dream of oil paintings flowing as fluently as my pastels is real.

See the paintings that brought this dream to life>

World on a String ~ Kite Flying, Family & Plein Air Painting on the Beach Send Me Soaring

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.
kites on a beach painting
Let’s Go Fly a Kite, 8″ x 10″ oil, Purchase this painting

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.

Painting on the beach at Bavon
Painting on the beach at Bavon

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?

plein air painting on the beach
Fiona took her turn painting while her dad watches.

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.

New Point Lighthouse painting
New Point Light, oil, Prints Available   Purchase this painting>

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?

flying kites on a beach painting
World on a String, 8″ x 10″ oil on canvas, Purchase this Painting>   prints available

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!

Garden Party Inspires Wearable ART!

On Tuesday I painted the garden party at Mary Claire’s.

Wednesday shimmering hydrangea blooms, striped parasols, and wet winged butterflies fill my studio on hand painted rayon and poly crepe de chine. The garden party morphed into a collection of fabrics!

In high school I block printed fabric to make my own clothing. Sewing the first yard to create an off-the-shoulder top, I feel like a girl again.

Now I see EVERY painting as fabric. I hardly know where to begin! Perhaps you’ll tell me where you would start?

Wet Winged Butterflies

Butterfly Top
Butterfly Top in Warm Fusion, Cool Fusion is show above, available in rayon or soft Jersey, See ordering info>

Butterflies symbolize transformation. Metamorphosis, caterpillar dissolves to leave a wet winged butterfly emerging from her cocoon.

Hanging on the edge where one can see the sun and dark cocoon simultaneously, I’ve laced the wet winged butterflies with layers of energetic lines that change as you move in the light.  I Call it Butterfly Fusion.

Impossible to photograph, you’ll have to wear it to experience the full holographic effect. You’ll find them in my Online Trunk Show this summer only.

Morphing Art > Fabrics

Wearing my heart on my sleeve, I painted A Lily Pond of My Own triptych before I went to Tuscany. Now I’ve printed it on soft stretch Jersey and sewn it into a short kimono jacket with lime faux suede trim.

A Lily Pond of My Own

Dorothy Fagan fabric designer
Wearing my ‘art on my sleeve, the kimono jacket is created with fabric designed with my painting, “A Lily Pond of My Own!” See more like this in my online trunk show>

Here’s what the painting looks like. Three separate panels create a triptych mural, or each stands alone as a vertical 40″ x 30 oil painting.

So a top can be fashioned from any of the paintings.

ALilyPondofOwn, triptych mural
A Lily Pond of My Own triptych mural, 40″H x 90″L, oil on canvas, See more photos and pricing info>

Something’s Blooming

For example, here’s the top created from the center panel, Something’s Blooming.

Something'sBloomingTOP
Something’s Blooming Top, hand painted rayon or poly crepe de chine, See Pricing>

Hydrangea Heaven

Hydrangea Heaven Top, hand painted rayon or poly crepe de chine,
Hydrangea Heaven Top, hand painted rayon or poly crepe de chine, See purchase details>

Goddess Rising

My granddaughter Fiona was in the studio last week. “Is it a woman or a landscape?” she wanted to know.

I wrote about How I Discovered the Woman in the Mountain , but believe I stopped short of publishing the painting. It really is my favorite.

Goddess Rising Top in hand painted rayon or poly crepe de chine, See purchase info>
Goddess Rising Top in hand painted rayon or poly crepe de chine, See purchase info>

Goddess Rising is me trusting the Creator to take control of my life and painting. It’s what I learned from my Tuscan family, letting the colors seep into everyday life.

I really like her hat, as it feels like my head ~ filled with more ideas than I know what to do with!

And I like that trusting means flexing my faith muscle over and over again, each time I sigh and let go of the notion I need to know anyway.

Peace!