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Posts Tagged ‘Watercolor’

guardian angel painting

Today’s Affirmation:
“Laughing makes me strong!”

Got back in touch recently with an old friend. She wanted to get together for coffee, so I picked a day at random and it turned out to be her birthday! πŸ™‚

When I found this out shortly before our rendezvous, I quickly did a little guardian angel painting for her as a birthday gift. I thought at first that the second figure was another angel, but to my surprise it morphed into this amused lion-faced spirit guide.

It seems to me they are reading the book of my friend’s life (and she has had a heck of a life!) The angel seems loving and gently compassionate. But the lion dude(ette) (I’m getting masculine energy from it even though it has feminine features) told me to tell her, “Laugh. Just laugh! It will make you strong!”

As it will all of us! No matter what happens today, go ahead and laugh! πŸ™‚

The holidays are not as far off as they seem. I’m taking orders now for custom guardian angel paintings to be delivered by or before mid December. Reply for details!Β 

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This is vital.

Today’s Affirmation:
“I make time today to play and have fun!”

Play time isn’t wasting time. It’s vital time! Get your dose today, and every day.

Love and blessings,

Christie

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Lilah angelI first started being aware of angels when I started doing chakra energy scans for people. They often show up for me in people’s chakras.

Lately I’ve been doing guardian angel art readings, but this latest is a bit of a variation. I love doing portraits of children, and decided for this one to tune in to Lilah’s guardian angel and include the angel, too.

In this case, looks like Archangel Michael also has her back!

Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed painting it.

P.S. I’m guessing an angel portrait would make an awesome Christmas gift. If you’d like more information about that, or to request a free 15 minute energy scan, just let me know! πŸ™‚

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"Sun Worshippers" floral painting of echinacea

“Sun Worshippers,” (echinacea.) Watercolor on paper, 8×11″. This painting is available for sale – reply below for details.

 

“Loving myself heals my life. Treating myself firmly but gently nourishes my mind, body and soul!”

If you want to change your life, start first with loving yourself. Your own loving attitude is like the warm rays of the sun that allow your soul to grow.

Sometimes it’s hard to feel loving towards ourselves, especially when we let ourselves down. It can help to think of yourself as a very small child, just learning how the world works.

If a very young child falls on her face, do you beat up on her for her mistake?

Of course not! You comfort her and set her back on the ground to try again. And you trust that she will learn to walk and then to run. Sometimes the act of falling is just what she needs to help her learn!

Stop beating up on yourself. If you fall down, brush yourself off, give yourself a hug, and set yourself down again in the right direction to take the next step towards the Light.

You’ll be amazed at how you start to bloom!

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Blues Sax watecolor painting

“Blues Sax,” watercolor, 14″x11″. This painting is for sale. Prints also available. Contact me below for details.

 

Whether it is true or not I can’t say, but I’m told someone asked Mozart once what his favorite part of music was.

“The rests,” he replied.

While his answer may seem flip, I believe he was deadly serious. Imagine music with no spaces between the notes. It wouldn’t be music at all, would it? Just a noisy cacophany.

Beethoven was also clearly aware of the power of the rest to amplify and strengthen his musical message.Β  The first minute of his Great Fugue is a masterful example. (Is it just my imagination, or can you hear in the silence the seed of all great music?):

So often we try to pack so much in that our lives become a jarring jumble, like music minus the rests. It’s good to remember that everything won’t come crashing to a halt just because we paused to breathe.

In fact, allowing ourselves time to rest often has quite the opposite effect!

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sheep skull and spiring beautiesIt’s a bit of a shock to look down and see a skull, even if it does belong to a sheep. (At least, I think that’s what this one was.)

I painted this piece during a walk in the woods when we still lived in southwest Wisconsin. The way the vibrant vigorous little spring beauties blossomed up out of the old skull’s socket reminded me of a project I did in college.

I attended St. Olaf college in Northfield, MN (many years ago now.) I don’t know if they still do, but back then if you wanted to graduate you had to take three religion classes. I have to admit I was rather curmudgeonly about it at first, but they turned out to be some of the best classes I took there.

One of the classes was a course on the Goddess. We had to write a term paper, of course, and I chose as my topic to write about goddesses of death. (Typical morbid college student.) πŸ™‚

Well, it wasn’t long before I discovered something wonderful. Almost without exception, regardless of culture or time frame, I found that nearly every goddess of death around the world was also associated with birth and new life.

Wow! The circle of life. It’s something curiously missing in our Western tradition, which insists on a one-way trip to one of just two destinations. But all you need to do to see it in action is look at the natural world around us.

It’s easy to feel that no good will come out of tough situations. But I believe that if you give it enough time and space, you will see how everything fits within a harmonious whole.

What do you think?

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Tiger Swallowtail copyright 2015 by Christie (Anne) Michelsen

Tiger Swallowtail

Tiger, tiger in the sky

Flashing gold, you soar and fly

Sudden flutter softly by

Sweet and fleeting butterfly!

Butterfly symbolic meanings: Inspiration, intuition, higher consciousness, transformation, resurrection, flashes of insight, power of beauty, strength in vulnerability.

Specific butterfly species may carry additional meanings. Here are my thoughts on the Tiger Swallowtail:

Tiger Swallowtail Totem: Integrating One’s Power

Did you know that the Tiger Swallowtail has two color morphs, black and yellow? I didn’t know until recently that all males are yellow – only the females sometimes appear in black form. Also, only the females (of both color morphs) sport the beautiful silvery blue crescents on the bottom edge of their back wings.

It speaks to me of the special connection women have with the moon. And whether you’re a man or a woman, the ability to balance and honor both the solar (masculine, proactive) and lunar (feminine, intuitive) aspects of your inner being.

Yellow. The color of the sun. Warmth, light, vitality, action! Yellow is also the color most associated with the Solar Plexus Chakra, the power center of the body.

Black. The color of night. Rest, dreams, that which is hidden. This is the realm of intuition, and regeneration.

With its vivid black and yellow stripes and dots, the Tiger Swallowtail speaks to us of integrating these two aspects of our selves. Black on yellow, yellow on black, rhythmically interspersed with each other.

This is the rhythm of the universe. Day, night. Inbreath, outbreath. Wake and sleep.

Traditional cultures honor this rhythm. They set aside time to rest, time to pray, time to heal.

Our society tends to put a premium on action, at the expense of rest. It’s a 24/7 world now, and many of us push ourselves ruthlessly to keep up.

Do you find yourself running on caffiene-laced fumes? Routinely pushing through to find your second wind?

It’s good to test our limits once in a while, but we weren’t made to do it day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. We think it’s a sign of strength. But sooner or later people who do this hit the wall. Burnout. Adrenal exhaustion.

Tiger Swallowtail reminds us to honor our natural rhythms.

Feeling blue, or in a black mood, is often just our body telling us to take it easy for a bit. If you find yourself feeling tired, cranky or sad, give yourself permission to let down for a while. Schedule “down time” into your calendar. Take an hour or a day or a week off if you need it.

No offense to men, but I think women have to be especially aware of our body’s need for rest at certain times. By honoring it, we honor ourselves.Yes, it means acknowledging that we are vulnerable.

But when we embrace that vulnerable side of ourselves, love it, and give it what it needs…

Wow! That’s allowing ourselves to tap deeply into our power to revitalize our lives…so we can take wing as the beautiful souls we truly are.

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Watercolor painting "Sun Panther" All life is energy. We are one with universal energy. The spinning of the Earth, the turning and burning of the Sun, the wind in the trees, the slinking panther in the grass, and the grass, how it grows…All one. Breathe, and become transparent to it, for you, too, encompass it all…

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Just finished this child/pet double portrait commissioned by a lovely lady in Marquette MI. The little boy, Gunner, is her first grandchild, who loves the family dog, Russ, very much. (And the feeling is obviously mutual!)

But what I loved was Gunner’s grandmother’s comment when I first emailed her the finished painting: “Oh my, the portrait of those two is just how we should spend our days…Β  ”

Gunner & Russ child/dog portrait(“Have you hugged your child/dog/lover/friend today?” may sound like a trite bumper sticker saying. But I’m going to ask it of you anyway. If you haven’t, here’s your homework for the day: go give someone a hug!)

I actually had the presence of mind to shoot in-progress photos of this one.

Here is the underdrawing, based on a sketch made from the reference photo. In the original photo Russ (the dog) was chewing a bone, and it didn’t look very good. At first I thought I’d take a separate picture of him and merge the two reference photos into one drawing, but he just didn’t get how to pose for the camera. So I ended up moving Russ’s head and front leg a bit from the original photo. Luckily, it worked out.

I started with a very light wash of golden yellow. It’s not noticeable in the final painting (you can’t see it very well in the photo, either), but gives the piece a bit of warm glow.

under drawing Gunner & Russ portrait

Gunner & Russ underdrawing

Next, I went in and established the first layer of color in the figures. Most watercolorists work from light to dark, but I like to establish a value range right away, so I tend to go in and put in at least some of my darkest darks right at the beginning.Β  Here, it’s the back leg of the pants and the pupils of the eyes.

Gunner & Russ 1st layer

Gunner & Russ – first layer

For the next pass, I layed in the shadows on Gunner’s face and bare foot, and on Russ.

Gunner & Russ Layer 2

Gunner & Russ, Layer 2

Layer 3: From here it was simply a matter of deepening the shadows and adding details. (I love shadows because they often are full of color!)

Gunner & Russ layer 3

Gunner & Russ, Layer 3

I went in a few more times between layer 3 and the final layer but didn’t remember to take photos. Oh, well. But here is the final piece one more time (just to keep the sequence in order):

Gunner & Russ child/dog portrait

Now, take a good look at the pure joy on little Gunner’s face, and go give someone a hug!

(And don’t forget to give yourself one, too!) πŸ™‚

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