This painting is called “Field of Peace.”
Here is a time lapse of my painting process:
Over the past year of the global covid pandemic, our whole world has been extraordinarily agitated and distressed. It has been difficult to find peace, at times.
Nature is a refuge for me in times of stress, and that is a large part of what my art is about.
In this 36” tondo, billowing clouds spread out across an open sky, above a field turned brown with autumn grasses.
The expanse of the hilly fields is broken up by a few trees in the midground and background, both evergreens and deciduous. The branches are bare on the deciduous trees, giving the feeling that we are in a chilly part of the year.
Small birds in the distance take off into the sky, flying away from the bare branches of one of the faraway trees. The birds get smaller and smaller as they fly up and up, finally disappearing from our view somewhere high in the clouds.
As I worked on this painting, I thought about all the people who have died of covid in the past year, all the families reeling from the losses, on top of the additional struggles of isolation, financial worries and other massive changes that our society has collectively experienced as a result of the pandemic.
I felt the familiar aching sadness that has been in the background of my consciousness every day for the past year.
Getting lost in the details of this painting helped me find solace and appreciate the present moment. I imagined the birds flying away up into the atmosphere as a symbol representing all the losses of loved ones, as well as all the ruined plans and postponed dreams. We must let it all go, and choose to exist in the here and now. All we can do is breathe and let it all go, over and over.
A feeling of peace might come over us when we’re standing in a field in the gray wilderness, just looking at the birds in the sky.