Sunday, April 17, 2011

not all frogs are toads

I once read that Dakinis are the beings responsible for all life energy on Earth. It's not unusual for me to spend a day or more drawing a character who has no particular place in any planned painting but I understand the image will eventually find a place. Since photography hasn't progressed to the point where it can capture imaginary beings (a much more interesting concept than cell phone cameras if you ask me), I draw them and then they sit inside one of my sketchbooks waiting patiently until an inspiration rises. So if you think you've seen this sky dancer before you're right.

I don't know if you can see this very well as the picture is actually larger than can sit flat on my scanner but it's good enough to give you an idea. Sometimes it's hard to hold onto the dreamlike concepts I prefer to paint. Sometimes I even wonder why I keep on doing it. Sometimes I read too much news, or happen to see too many other wonderful artworks, then find myself picking up a book rather than a paintbrush.

Anyhow, the frog showed up, a frog not only with opposable thumbs on his hands and feet but one who also had wings. I'd heard of frogs mutating as a result of all the weird chemicals humans have been flushing into the environment and wondered if perhaps somewhere a frog has experienced an episode of punctuated equilibrium. Next time I stroll past a pond I'll be looking closely to see if there are tadpoles with tiny wings. Nowadays nothing surprises me.

In the meantime I'll be painting this one and hopefully will be able to make reasonable scans of my progress to show you.

Point to remember: all toads are frogs


TheCunningRunt said...

That's lovely already - can't wait to see where you go with it!

Seraphine said...

the frog with wings and a monkey's tail is an inspired idea.
we live in an imperfect world yet you succeed in perfecting everything that was once thought to be perfect.

Linda said...

my advice i shall offer you tho you have not asked....i never hold back even if you did ask :)

stop the news and worries, the thoughts that drain away the energy that floats up from your heart center, that floats to you from our Dakinis as they fly among and about us both...and then pick up your brush ... keep the magic alive..

i have feelings that unless you live this way, somewhat sheltered and protective of your specialness, you will be swallowed up by the cumbersome energies that only need more, always more...and drain our creative natures away.

may you find your soft dirt and warm flowers nodding 'yes, hello love.xox

Lisa said...

I'm like you - I can get derailed by the news, familial current events or by reading other writers and wondering why I bother.

We should stop doing that to ourselves, but is it possible?

I'm looking forward to seeing what becomes of this sketch.

Pagan Sphinx said...

I like what Linda said. From my perspective, depends upon where one's mind dwells or wants to go. A lot of horrific things are depicted through art and turn out beautiful, somehow.

I love the whimsy of your work. That poppy you drew is breathtaking. I can't wait to see its color.

And indeed, not all princes are toads, either! Or something like that! :-D

okjimm said...

//Sometimes I even wonder why I keep on doing it. //

.... cause, golly, I would get really really upset if you stopped doing it.

Steve Emery said...

I love this, and was happy to see the sky dancer again. I'm looking forward to seeing more of it. And I love the way you drew the poppies.

I did not know that about toads being frogs! And it is the sort of thing I usually know! So then I had to look up tortoises and turtles and sure enough, they're the same way! The dry sort are a sub group of the wet sort in both cases.

And I was thinking something along the lines of Linda's advice - which I follow myself (or my muse becomes impossible to hear and I have no energy to paint) - but I try not to give advice for much the same reason...

susan said...

cr - Thanks. I hope to be able to do it justice with color.

sera - I do like the enhanced frog and I'm glad you do too. You always say the sweetest things :-)

linda - The news from every direction has certainly become overwhelming recently. I can't avoid it completely but I promise to do my best to keep the other dream alive in my heart. You're right that I do need solitude and a certain amount of tranquility to allow my little visions to emerge. I so appreciate your advice and love.

lisa - It really is all too easy to get lost these days. I'm not sure if it's possible to avoid all distraction but you do a wonderful job of juggling your influences and producing great work.

pagan sphinx - Linda's advice is excellent. I don't have the capacity to take my own work into dark spaces even though I've tried a few times. It's not that I'm not aware of my shadow side but simply don't have the fortitude or skill to bring them into my paintings. All my characters turn out either sweet or ironic :-)

The painting is underway but glazes take time and patience. I'm looking forward to the poppies too. I'm so glad you like them.

Why is it we'll agree to kiss a frog and not a toad?

jim - How kind of you to say so :-)

steve - I'm glad you came by just now. Yes, the sky dancer has been waiting for just the right setting and I think this is it. The other one in the background to paint when I feel a bit more color confident again is the girl on the flying tree with the fairy.

That is funny about turtles and tortoises being the same too.

Avoiding the news is hard for me because we both gravitate to certain web sites that keep up ongoing tallies. I know much more than I write about but I also feel witnessing as a responsibility. At least I'm relearning to walk away when it's time and let the muse take over.

gfid said...

frogs 'n toads... more of life's mysteries. your sky dancer has such a flat tummy..... it's been a long, bleak, overindulgent winter..... happy spring. i picked some pussy willows several weeks ago when the sun was strong and warm (briefly) and their siblings left on the bushes are no further developed since then. it's like we're in a cold weather time warp. yes, our winters are cold and drear. our summers, however, are luscious and bountiful and fragrant and ...... short. sigh.

Francis Hunt said...

The frog/toad/prince(?) caught in a moment of metamorphosis, maybe?

Everything is becoming, nothing is - or so I sometimes tell myself anyway. Like your sketch becoming a full picture. Looking forward to it! :-)

Lydia said...

I wish I could spend the day inside this painting. It looks like a lovely place to be, and these imaginary ones seem very comforting. And fun. Quick-witted. Patient. Full of grace.

p.s. That is why youkeep on doing it....because we love it!

marja-leena said...

I'm late to the party for blogger has been guarding the door fiercely, more than usual. Your work is always a delight to me, and it's fun to see the drawing before the colours come - both show your skill and imagination and love for the medium, as well as the message. That is what art is for, for yourself as well as viewers, whether it may be fantasy or harsh reality. A fine balance to follow, for sure, I'm finding out that as well.

Nancy said...

Love the image - I know it will turn into a beautiful painting some day. I am also happy to note the frogs, ok well one frog, seems to have returned to our little pond. I promise not to follow the Pond Doctor's advice and heave a giant tab of chlorine in this time...

susan said...

gfid - Sometimes I suspect there's a Dorian Gray quality at large in my imagination. As I get older my adult female characters become ever more lithe and supple.

Winter has been both longer and much colder than those I'd grown comfortably used to but I've heard from friends in Portland, Vancouver and England that their weather has been struggling towards the gentle springs expected by now. I guess that means we're all pretty much in the same boat as we wait for warmth and the lush growth of summer.

francis - Yes, he has a prehensile tail as well. I've always wanted one of those almost as much as a fine pair of wings. The problem there that nobody ever mentions is that would turn us into six limbed beings and the only ones of those I know are spiders. No one wants to be one of them.

All is becoming and with that thought I'll return to painting. Glad you like it as it is.

lydia - I'm lucky I can spend this dreary rainy day inside this painting. When the ideas flow I actually do dream visions of gentle and slightly unusual landscapes. One night before falling asleep I heard a voice say, 'The color of Heaven is green'. Even though I find greens to be the most difficult shades to control it's that idea I try to relay and the reason I keep painting.

marja-leena - I didn't know there were door guards at blogger but I'm glad you surmounted the difficulties and came to visit.

It usually takes me weeks to finish a painting and it's only been very recently that I've thought to post the initial drawing. Of course, that makes it an extra challenge to do proper justice to the image people will tend to colour in themselves. I'm so very glad you enjoy my results. Achieving harmony is indeed an ongoing process.

Pagan Sphinx said...

It is warm in Portugal - my mother told me! :-)

I would not mind being a spider. I think I was one once...

Pagan Sphinx said...

Why, I have kissed several toads and some of them were not half bad! :-D

susan said...

pagan sphinx - I'm glad to know it's warm somewhere it's supposed to be :-) Maybe we should all visit your Mom.

Apologies for letting my arachnophobia show. I'm sure your were a lovely spider but if you've been kissing toads I hope you avoided these. Some years ago we watched a documentary called Cane Toads: An Unnatural History and I've been quite creeped out about them ever since.

Liberality said...

Linda seems to have offered up the best course of action, at least part of the time. For myself, the struggle is in the balance between informed and active citizenship and the need to protect my creative forces and personhood from the depressing reality we increasingly face. I must be a toad and not a frog. I am sort of dry :)

Randal Graves said...

I think someone punctuated my equilibrium.

Flying frogs? I thought the wicked witch melted? You'll have to try harder to enslave us with your unholy mutant animal army!

Pagan Sphinx said...

Susan - you are so funny! Let's just say that Cane Toads are not my type!

I've finally had a mind to follow the comments of people who blogs I love and this thread has been most entertaining! Thank you, as always for the magic you share here.

susan said...

liberality - It really is challenging to remain informed, or even beyond informed by digging into those things the msm has decided to ignore, and yet still continue participating in the good things in life. While the winds of change are blowing at hurricane strength, we help keep each other balanced on the tightrope of life. Some of us even manage a pirouette every so often, you dear dry one :-)

randal - I think I saw the drone that punctured it fly by earlier.

Yep, flying frogs but so far no escalation to flying pigs. We may be close though.

pagan sphinx - I know you would have enjoyed that movie but it seems not to have been released to dvd. Do people even have vcr's anymore?

I've never officially followed blog comments but I nearly always drop by the blogs I've left them on to check the responses. It's half the fun. In fact, sometimes I prefer leaving comments to writing new posts ;-)