The title of the painting is simply "Red Willows, Oakley." I thought about naming it something quaint like "Over the River and Through the Woods," but it seemed a little too facile for a painting packed with gut-wrenching emotion...and echoes of hope. The flash of red on the left signifies life and love and hurt and heartache—the stuff of mortality. Yet the light at the top refuses to be doused by the encroaching shadows.
Seven years ago we made a frequent trek to visit our son in Oakley. The scene and the setting were a combination of hurt and hope. Sometimes it would rip my heart out to make this drive. And then I'd cross this river and see these saturated red willows on the banks, and think, "Yes, this is life, right here. We're in the intense phase, these willows and I." I'd remember that even in a season that's barren and grey, God gives us an injection of color. And then I'd see the light flooding over the hills and grazing the treetops and sparkling on the water, and think, "We're going to survive this. We really are." And we did.
This is the second-to-last version of this painting, Only those who see the original in person will be able to see how I finished it.
Red Willows, Oakley
Original watercolor, 17 x 27
Custom framed under museum glass
This one's in tomorrow's show too. It's called "Secret Garden," and is meant to capture not only the feeling of the Secret Garden in children's literature, but also the joy of moving out of darkness and into a place of light. This one also speaks to me on a deep level.
Original watercolor, 10 x 14
There's also a little tiny one I haven't even photographed yet:
Original watercolor, 5 x 5
Come see me at the opening reception tomorrow night:
3670 North University Ave, Provo
Opening Reception: November 12, 5-8 p.m.
Duration of show: November 13—February 26
Open Monday - Friday, 8-5
A portion of the proceeds benefit UVU art scholarships and are tax deductible.
I am an artist and art instructor working in water media. Just knowing I can watch colors run together makes it worth getting out of bed every morning! Helping students capture the same excitement is equally rewarding.