I drive by the front of this farm everyday. One day, I decided to turn off my normal route and check it out from the back. I was not disappointed with my decision.
I was out walking one morning and spotted beautiful red-tailed hawk circling in the sky above me. We walked together for a while and then suddenly, he swooped down, chasing something in the field. He was pure energy…and like that, he was back in the sky, far above me, searching again.
How do you know it’s summer? The gold finches arrive! Their exuberance and joy fit right in with the sunshine and warmth of the days. Just seeing them brings a smile to your face.
My latest watercolor painting was inspired by an arctic wolf whom I photographed at Lakota Wolf Sanctuary many years ago. While the arctic wolf is not “on the brink,” as are many wolves in the US, they are still threatened by humans. Climate change and industrialization both affect their habitat, and hunters pursue them for their beautiful coats…which personally, I think look much better on the wolf!
Remember, wolves are essential to the environment. They help maintain the balance by keeping grazing herd populations under control, which in turn allows vegetation to grow, helping to minimize erosion, and on and on.
And, they are spectacular!
I grew up reading stories about the big bad wolf terrorizing sweet little pigs and eating grandma, and yet, I never developed a fear of them. The fact is, I also grew up with large, fuzzy dogs who gave me a love for all things canine…includng the big bad wolf. I wonder, though, where the hatred so many people have for wolves comes from. Why is the bad wolf a central figure in so many tales? Why do we hunt them to near extinction? We love our dogs, but hate their closest relative…why? I am always inspired by their grace, their love, their beauty. They need to be cherished…they need to be saved!
Every year in May, the Blue Bells at Lockridge Park bloom. The park literally becomes a field of purple. All of us “locals” visit the park during this time of year to photograph our children among the blooms. My daughter and I go every year. I have taken quite a few amazing (not to be too humble) photos of my daughter over the years. Last year, I shot some of my all time favorites. She was wearing a dress that matched the flowers exactly and she borrowed my big straw hat and sunglasses. I already painted a few portraits of her from that shoot. One, that I named “Dress Up,” is on my list to repaint, as it sold last month. While looking through the shoot photos for the original photo that inspired that painting, I came across another one that I love, so decided to paint that one first. Here it is:
I declared this one done yesterday. Then I worked on it again last night. Then I tossed and turned all night thinking about how I was going to repaint it. This morning I got up early and with just a few final touches, really finished it. Somehow the picture I had of it in my head was very skewed. It didn’t require a complete repaint, just a few well positioned highlights and a clear head. I think I need a nap now!