I was laying in bed the other night thinking about this painting and wondering what to name it. I kept thinking of the horizontal gray stripes and how they remind me of all the fantastic scenes in film noir full of smoke and stripey shadows. Like this great still from "To Have and Have Not" starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall:
Bogie fell for Bacall in real life while they were shooting this movie, and the chemistry is SMOKIN HOT. Hot dog, Humphrey Bogart, I love you (#HopelessCrush) and if I ever grow up, I would like to be Lauren Bacall.
(There are other influences from other eras going on here, too. Like the pointiness in the letters, which reminds me of 80s film credits. But that's another story.)
I was working on this at night, lit only by a desk lamp, so here's a noir photo of the studio.
I have other associations with this painting. My husband said it reminded him of a cave, so it also hearkens back to the two desert paintings I've done so far.
But most of all I picture it in the background of a sweeping drama about true love versus deception, with shades of meaning in every line.
"The next morning, she walked in.
She told me she loved me, but I wondered whether to believe her."
Poseidon is, of course, the Greek god of the sea. He married Amphitrite, so maybe I could have called it "Valentine for Amphitrite." But maybe that's too obscure.
I named this painting after him because the colors remind me of the interiors of sea shells. Oysters, perhaps, or abalone.
However, it was still inspired by agate. There are many kinds of agate and other banded stones, and some of the specimens I have seen have a certain translucent clarity. When they are sliced thin, they let in a bit of light, and they have broader bands color. If only I could find a photo of the sort of agate that inspired me! I wonder if I imagined it...
I painted this on a beautiful sunlit morning. You can see the beginnings of another painting here, too. It didn't turn out, so you will probably never see it. Only the best for you!
This painting seems to have picked up some of the peaceful qualities of that morning. Despite all of the bands of color (or perhaps because of them) it seems to bring in the rhythmic tranquility of the sea.
I really struggled with this one, but I finally like it.
I was bound and determined to do something with neutrals. After "Southwest of Love" I wanted to do another painting about the desert, and I wanted to work in the gray and taupe of the desert rocks. It was easy at first:
Then it was time to fill in the leaves and letters, and I thought I would never get it right. I finally ended up going over the watercolor with conte crayon, which is the same chalk that I used the last time I was really struggling to get a painting right.
And at last, I got the look I was going for. Now I keep thinking of old cowboy songs. "Cowboy Rhythm" is the one that keeps coming into my mind... I know it from the Boswell Sisters, but this version by Randy Erwin is pretty great, too. Dig that cowboy yodel!
This one looks great with a distressed wood frame. It reminds me of weathered fence posts.
I had many different ideas going into this one, but mostly I was thinking of blue-painted porcelain, which I love. (I used to have a whole set of Blue Willow, but I gave it to a friend because I also have a whole set of handmade pottery and I just had too much beautiful stuff!)
But after I put in the blue, I couldn't think of how to integrate the yellow rose. Then I thought back to the colors of the Chinese vases which I have often noticed in my art books... they add pink and green and yellow to create a little rainbow of colors. So this painting is sort of like a wilder version of a Chinese vase.
Later I came across these photos on Instagram and they pretty much capture my ideas. Or close enough.
I took a little video of myself painting one of the lines on this piece. Then when I published the video, it somehow ended up playing backward (!?) so you can experience the strangely soothing sight of me unpainting this picture.
I came up with about a dozen titles for this painting. "Blue Waves Receding." "Ripples in China." And so on.
But I like "The Tide of Love" because it reminds me of this most excellent song by the Paragons. (You may have heard Blondie's version on the radio, but trust me, the one by the Paragons is worthy.)
So if you want to be swept away by love... or maybe if, as in the song, "the tide is high but you're holding on..." then this is the painting for you. Click the button to get it!