There are special, sudden moments in life that stand out, when you enter another dimension. This is what happened to me as I left my friend's new apartment building. It is across from a woods. I have walked in this woods often in the past, happy to look at birds and wild flowers. As I approached, something caught my eye. Slinking out of the woods, in front of the trees, was a large bobcat. He stopped directly across from me and stared with golden eyes. We were caught in a moment of frozen time. I was in awe and didn't even think, is this dangerous? Instead of thinking, I was in the grip of something larger. My connection with this great animal and the universe. I managed to take out my phone and take the Bobcat's photo. And then he went back into the woods, I got in my car, still filled with wonder. Of course, later, I painted the Bobcat. Many people reacted to my photo as if the Bobcat is dangerous and I could have been attacked. Perhaps in retrospect I can see it could have been a dangerous moment. But I think that great cat and I have an understanding to respect one another and carry the knowledge of each other inside us.
This painting was inspired by this poem.
THE WONDER OF IT ALL, by Pam Malone
Today I see inked trees
against a wild blue sky
When I was a child
in my Mother's garden
I saw a kaleidoscope of color
My dog, Sandy at my side
Today, my dog, Snowball is with me
I see with the same child's eyes
the wonder of it all.
On the left side of the painting is me as a child with my dog, Sandy. The fuchsias are flowing down from a vine under a hummingbird in my Los Angeles backyard. On the right, I, now an older woman, follow a path with my dog, Snowball in our favorite New Jersey park, where there is water, an egret and trees.
As soon as I saw his face, I knew I had to paint him. Bad enough he's caged and not free to live in the Malaysian jungle, but Eko was shot and killed by a Naples, Florida sheriff at the Zoo, because a man, got into his cage and got attacked. I do not like to see beautiful souls locked up in a cage to be gawked at and then to die by human hands. I have painted Hubert and Kalissa who were in the San Diego Zoo and killed simply because they were getting old.
And Garcia The Mexican Grey Wolf who died naturally but shouldn't have been locked up for fifteen years.
Nor will I forget the unnamed Caged Mountain Lion who glared at me and seared me with his anger as I gawked at him in his cage. I learned my lesson and never went to another zoo again.
SNOW LEOPARD, RILU, DIED OF COVID AT ILLINOIS ZOO
Finally, this! A beautiful Snow Leopard, named Rilu, died of Covid at the Illinois Zoo.
There is nothing more magical than a special dream. I dreamt I was standing before a shimmering gold tree that was whirring with hummingbirds. My first thought was to reach for my camera. But in the dream, I didn't have my camera or my phone. So I just stared at the tree, deciding to internalize what I saw. Living truly in the moment. When I woke up, the image was still with me, so I painted it. I like to analyze my dreams. I can't come up for a reason for this one, except that it was a beautiful gift, and something I can return to whenever I want to feel that kind of bliss again.
This painting will be part of a virtual Exhibit: MEMORIAL MONUMENT MOVEMENT, March 24/2021- June 24/2021. This is an International Show inspired by the Black Lives Movement. It will be on Instagram @artagainstracism_org. I am deeply honored as I was told my painting was selected from 1,000 entries. Let's hope things change in our country so the need for such paintings will become extinct!
All flowers are special and I love to paint them. But these pink tulips were something else! Outside, freezing temps and snow,snow,snow. Inside, these Valentine tulips which actually glowed. I love pink and green, and the green vase embraced the pink tulips. Of course,I was inspired to paint them, and this Oil, 20" X 20" is the result.
I love trees. I love to breathe in their smell and hug them. I appreciate that they show us what season it is, and are always beautiful, even in Winter. But I have learned so much more from the book, THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES, by Peter Wolleben. Trees take care of one another. If a tree needs nurture, it extends its branches to the neighboring tree, who responds with loving embrace. That's what's happening in this painting. The tree on the left is my favorite tree, that I hug in every season. It is old and weary and it is reaching toward the tree on the right, which reciprocates in kind. This is how we should all treat each other. What a wonderful world it would be!