Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bats, Butterflies & the Wind

Bats, Butterflies and the Wind - 48" x 60" - original oil on canvas

One dreary morning in January as I sat sipping coffee and flipping through the newspaper, an article about global warming caught my eye. It said flying fox bats were dropping dead in Australia, and butterflies had gone extinct in the Alps. The photo accompanying the article showed a little bat panting in a futile attempt to keep cool. Its little face reminded me of my cat, who’d died two months earlier. I still miss her. She was sweet and gentle and died of kidney failure, through no fault of her own. Seeing that little bat face, with its uncanny resemblance to my cat, made me feel sad for all the helpless creatures who find themselves at the mercy of forces greater than themselves. I wondered about all the complexities of global warming, and if it really was causing bats and butterflies to become extinct. And if so, what species was next?

Of course I can’t answer these questions, who can? The only thing I can say is that a painting was born. Painting inspirations are usually elusive and transparent, flowing through my mind while life happens. Sometimes they manifest in pictures and clippings from magazines, or quick sketches I tear from the corners of notebook paper. More often than not they never reach my canvas, expiring instead in a dust-collecting, ever growing stack of clippings, sketches and photos. This one made it to the canvas. It’s close to my heart. The little bat faces, that remind most people of Dracula or late-night horror movies, are like cries for help. Their little faces remind me of my cat, who trusted me, right up to the end. But I couldn’t save her, no one could. The real question is, can anything save us from global warming? I don’t know. But I labored on this painting from January until March, while my life unfolded in a whirl of unexpected complexities. During that time, as always, my painting kept me grounded. Here's my painting: Bats, Butterflies & the Wind, in honor of my cat, and all the creatures that put their trust in man.

This is my palette. The colors were bright, primary and intense.

During this time, I moved my studio. You can see this painting in my new studio on my Art Journey Techniques blog. You can also see some photos of the preliminary composition.

I hope you find a connection to this painting, like I did. Sincerely, Marie



beautiful work!

meenakshi said...

Marie, your work draws in and then lets fly! It went so well with a post I was making at The Power of Light group on Gaia [] that I have taken the liberty of posting it and also linking to your blog. Please let me know if this is acceptable to you.
Also, you might enjoy meeting other artists at DREAMS of ARTISTS™ []