watercolour

Filling my world with flowers

this was originally going to be a rather happy and light post, but after what happened in Orlando yesterday, my heart feels heavy and everything is tinged with the sadness i feel for those affected by the shooting. this morning, i went to my kindergartener's spring sing and they ended the concert with "What a Wonderful World" - my heart is bursting with the joy and beauty in the voices of those little children on the one hand, and the pain and violence of Florida. it is hard to believe that this world we live in has so much hate and yet also has the capacity to make so much beauty.

so while my thoughts are tinged with so much sadness, i look around me and see so many beautiful flowers. and it is these beauties that i have been busy filling the world of my mind with. here are some photos i've been posting on Instagram. while i cannot have my own garden here, i am growing a garden in my head with these paintings. 

A little bit about "Meanderings"...

i thought you'd enjoy a little background info about this new series of abstract watercolor paintings i've been working on.  you can see them individually on my Saatchi gallery.  they started off as experiments in colour and as i finished off several of them, i noticed that the colours had some specific geographical roots.  

"Meanderings, No. 1" and "Meanderings, No. 2" have definite roots in the winters of Wisconsin.  my years in Madison taught me to survive the stark cold colourlessness of the Wisconsin winter, yet i found so much beauty in those winters and i hope the small bits of colour coming through reflect that.

"Meanderings, No.3" and "Meanderings, No. 4" were inspired by my recent visits to the beaches of Massachusetts.  rather than focusing on the water, i was drawn to the rocks that were being washed by the waves.

"Meanderings, No. 5", "Meanderings, No. 6" and "Meanderings, No. 7" so clearly have their roots in my years in Kenya.  the browns, reds and yellows will always evoke my childhood there, but i think the vibrancy of the colours are from looking back with the lenses of memory.  Kenya will always be a place of beautiful bright colours.

these paintings are also about the process.  most of the time, i start out a painting or art piece with a definite finished image in mind.  with this series, i had some idea, but left the colours to spread as they wanted to with the spreading of the water.  it was really freeing to not be concerned about how the colours would spread and to find surprising interesting details in the way the colours bled into one another.

the days have been cold and bleak here, so i have been filling my mind with all the colours you see here.  hope they bring a spot of colour into your day as well. :)

Happy Thanksgiving and some thoughts for the holiday season

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!! i'm sure many of you are travelling to visit families or getting your homes ready for visiting families.  we are staying put this year and getting together with some friends.  i won't be cooking the turkey!! mixed feelings there, since i enjoy eating turkey and sort of like the leftovers, but it's also a treat to eat someone else's cooking. :)

there have been so many changes and transitions, i feel like i've been running to keep up.  i'm looking forward to this long weekend to relax and enjoy some time with my family.  i am thankful for our new life here in MA.  i am thankful for all my new friends here and my friends who keep up with me here on the blog and facebook.

i want to share with you a snapshot of a big project i've been busy working on.  i'm not sure when it will be completed, but i have a feeling it will be a long term project:

and here is the poem that inspired it:

 

"Hope" is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops - at all -

 

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -

And sore must be the storm -

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm -

 

I've heard it in the chillest land -

And on the strangest Sea -

Yet, never, in Extremity,

It asked a crumb - of Me.

 

Emily Dickinson

 

i've quoted this poem in a previous post, but it has been meaningful to me again lately.  the installation i am working on is partly inspired by it, along with this mixed media piece:

 

i've been thinking a lot about hope, especially as we head into the holiday season.  as we celebrate thanksgiving in the US, we are naturally encouraged to think about what we are thankful for and that always leads me to "hope."  i associate being thankful with looking back on the past and seeing all the goodness we have to be thankful for.  "hope" is that same thankful attitude, except we are looking forward into the future, into the unknown, the things that haven't happened yet.  it is the song the bird sings even in the storm.

i tend to be rather pessimistic about my future, but lately, i've been hearing that bird's song even "on the strangest Sea."

with that, i'd like to share that i've opened up a sort of holiday shop through Etsy where i will be offering some miniature original art (sized 6 x 4 inches) and some holiday garlands.  you can find the shop here.  you will also find an "etsy" tab at the top of my website which will send you directly to my shop MadeBySLK.  i would really really appreciate it if you would spread the word about my holiday shop.  the miniature artworks will make great gifts for art lovers and the star garlands will appeal to those with minimalist tastes for their holiday decor. thanks so much!!

here are some photos of the works in progress and the finished products:

 

have a wonderful rest of the week and weekend, friends.