Have you ever gone through a long hard time, or strong physical pain or a bad illness, and then made it out on the other side, miraculously alive? When it happens, everything is more beautiful than it ever was before you suffered. Your body feels incredibly well. It is as through the sun has risen on a beautiful morning.
That is what this painting is about: the sun rising out of darkness. Joy rising out of sorrow. The freshness of a new beginning.
I thought a lot about the name of this picture. I wanted something about the sunrise, and something about renewal, and something about God. (Because this painting is also about God. Think of the joy of renewal on Easter morning.)
Then I was reading in the Bible and came across a reference to God as the "dayspring" and there it was: the perfect name. This is from Luke, Chapter 1, halfway thru verse 78: "...whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
Ironically for a picture about rebirth, this painting almost "died" as I was painting it. When I put the first layer on I was sure I had ruined it. I tried adding more color and blending but that didn't help.
As I have mentioned before, this has been a problem in the "Rainbows Promise Love" series. Everything starts out looking like it got run over a unicorn... and then I try to fix it.
I didn't want to paint black over it like I have done elsewhere, so I tried another tack: I scribbled over it with a grayish-white conte' crayon. (Not a wax crayon, more like an artist's chalk crayon.) But I still wasn't happy! At this point I really almost gave up on it... then I had the idea of trying just one more thing... I would make a sunrise.
And since it was a sunrise, I made the rose look like a sun, or like it was backlit by the rising sun:
This painting breaks my heart and lifts up my spirit at the same time. On the one hand, I think back on this year and it seems full of darkness and hardship. On the other hand, I feel like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Physically I still feel half-dead sometimes, but my mind is so ready to rebirth and renewal, and I know, I just KNOW that in the New Year I am going to really begin recovering my health, if I can just hold on to my purpose.
Have I managed to convey my feelings? I hope so. I hope this art inspires you to keep going, to face whatever battles you're facing with courage and joy, to spring forth into the future with love in your heart.
This painting was a HUGE SILLY VICTORY for me. Okay, time for some backstory.
I use blue masking tape to cover the letters while I paint the background. Like so:
Sometimes if you look at my Instagram feed it looks like I churn out perfection (or at least adequacy) all week long. However, the "Rainbows Promise Love" series has had AT LEAST a 30% failure rate. Here you see a stack of failure. The failure on top was my first attempt at a rainbow halo. The halo around the rose has been painted over in a desperate attempt to save the painting. However, it didn't work, as you can see.
So I tried it again in this painting and at first I thought I'd failed again:
The rainbow was all muddy and it didn't integrate well into the white background. So I started adding gray and turned it from a muddy-Lisa-Frank painting to something more mysterious. Spiritual, in fact.
In fact, this painting is finally expressing what my whole LOVE series is about: The love of God which shines like a beacon from the heart of the universe.
My sister-in-law named this for me. Actually, she suggested it as a name for another painting but I stole it for this one.
Although if I really think about it, it reminds me more of orange juice than anything else. Orange juice and birthday parties. Could that background be birthday wrapping paper?
I broke a few of my own rules for this one. For one thing, the rose reminds me more of a carnation, and for another thing I added pink to the yellow rose. Well, such rules are made to be bent.
I broke the rules because I was struggling with this one. The yellow flower wanted to fade into the yellow background, so you see I just had to add pink, Your Honor. Honest.
Take a closer look at that flower, by the way. Did you notice the way it twinkles a bit in the middle?
As always, you can buy a print of this one. You can also buy a shower curtain, which just looks like a happy way to start the day. Like orange juice.
This one is dedicated to my mom because it reminds me of the wedding cakes she used to make. (She is a cake artist! I wish I had some photos of her confections, but they are all in my attic with my other photos, and today that's not gonna happen.)
Don't the swirls remind you of frosting? I have a sweet tooth, so I have always chosen the piece of cake on the corner, the one with lots and lots of icing.
Anyway, Mom, this is for you and I love you dearly. Thanks for being you.
As usual I took a few pictures while I was painting this. They remind me of how much I love painting, I can't believe I get to do this all the time. I love the accoutrements of it... the brushes and the precious little gem-like pans of watercolor.
This picture was named by "Amy," another lady on social media. I would never have come up with this name, so I'm really glad I outsourced it. Other name suggestions included "Love is Life" and "LOVEly Lemonade Punch," which I might have to use later.
And since this is the internet, someone also suggested we name it "Shirley," and someone else suggested "Torture." LOL what? Okay... (The internet is so funny.)
I just love this one on the bags, especially the little pouch. Which actually comes in three sizes so it doesn't have to be "little."
I'm in the middle of my "Rainbows Promise Love" series aaaaand something else took over. I just had to do it. Watch to see how I painted it. (Each video is less than 30 seconds.)
As you can see, I started as always by sketching in the letters and the rose. This one was a real challenge and I added a lot of flourishes to integrate a few of the awkward spots.
Then I posted it on Facebook and asked for color suggestions. People suggested apricot, pink, yellow, Indian yellow, grayish periwinkle, sage green and fuchsia. I think I got them all in!
So yes, I am cheating. I am starting a new series while I'm in the middle of another one. What can I say? Art takes you where it takes you. Back to the rainbows soon, I promise.
It's just that I love the super romantic feeling of this picture.
This is one of my very favorites. I know, I say that all the time but I really mean it this time.
Once again it was the charcoal gray background the saved the day. It brought a little sophistication to the rainbows. It's so... suave.
For once I kept the ink lines super simple. I really ought to do that more often.
This looks good on everything, most especially the throw pillow.
I was all set to call this one "Circuit Board of Love" but then suddenly I thought, "Nah, way too obvious." Most of my titles are obvious... and I felt like making a change.
So I put this one up on Facebook and solicited titles. I did get a suggestion for "Digital Love" and that probably would have been totally appropriate, but then again, I like the complete randomness of this name. (Which was suggested by Rocheleau James, just in case you are curious.)
This painting was another one where I got almost no process photos. So instead here's a picture of a robot.
Maybe I should have called it "Beep beep boop boop Love." Anyway, if you buy a print you can call it anything you want to. (After all, a name means nothing to a painting.)
Or maybe you should get a phone case. It will look like your rainbow circuit board is showing.