The Lotus Installation–Can you take me high enough?!

This was a pretty intense installation for us.  Evan and our client’s father were the brave ones up on the scaffolding.   My role was to hand them the paintings (I only climbed to the first and second tiers) and to take photos.   (You can also see our Monarch painting in the living room in this photo!)

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This may give you an idea of how high up Evan was when he put up the french cleat:

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Whew!  First painting installed!  It took five of us to hoist this baby up in the air!  Our client commented that it seems like you have to work out and bit fit to be an artist–how true!

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A view from the second floor.  It looks beautiful!

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And now for the other side:  A view from the second floor, trying to decide on the spacing between them.

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Up they went-they look so light and airy in the space!

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The drips on the lily pads looked so perfect with the cables on the chandelier and the lights almost seem to mimic the petals of the lotuses!

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What an exciting ride it is to be an artist!  It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.  But it’s incredibly rewarding!

 

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Our latest collaboration!

These paintings are inspired by my trip to the Abbey of Gethsemani, a very peaceful and spiritual monastery in New Haven, Kentucky.   The monks there have made a beautiful contemplative nature trail full of hidden treasures.  It was serendipitous that on one of my visits to the abbey, the lotuses in the pond on the nature trail were in bloom.  I snapped some photos and found out when I got back that one of our most supportive clients wanted me and Evan to make some lotus paintings for him and his wife 🙂  This seemed like divine timing!

Gethsemani lotus panorama. right side

It’s interesting to me that the bible mentions the lotus in the book of Job, a story of suffering, loss, and also of renewal and restoration.   I wonder if the monks know that the lotus is able to endure incredibly harsh conditions, even severe drought.  Just when the lotuses in the Jordan seem to be dead because of the water drying out, the rain comes and their enormous rhizomes seem to resurrect and come back to life at the first sign of water.  There’s a wonderful explanation of the Judeo-Christian symbolism of the lotus in this blog.

So Evan and I were commissioned to make 3 paintings that are 8 feet wide each.  The paintings were created specifically for their dining room, which has a cathedral ceiling.  Here’s a sketch I did to prepare for two of the paintings that are a kind of horizontal diptych (you might recognize the lotus above on the right side of the top sketch):

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We also did a collaborative painting to study the kind of techniques we wanted to incorporate for this commission.  (This is a 3 x 4 foot study for the 6 x 8 foot commission.  The study is hanging at Bromwell’s and is available for sale.)  The study was a little too dark for the space and we decided that on the big painting, we would make it brighter.  (Scroll to the bottom of the post for the final 6 x 8 painting!)

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This client has been incredibly gracious to us–they have bought several of Evan’s abstracts and also our collaborative painting of the Life Cycle of a Monarch:

Life Cycle of the Monarch

Here is the final version of each painting!  We are so happy with how they turned out!

The Light of Renewal Spirit Breathe Like the Wind

Lotuses of Gethsemani- Here, Now

 

 

Meditation Gallery Talk at Wash Park Art Gallery

Here’s an insight into our artists’ brains!

Evan and I hope you enjoy this view behind the scenes of where we draw our inspiration (individually as artists) and the process of collaboration as husband and wife.

This talk was filmed by Evan Mauntel at Holly Doan Spraul’s beautiful gallery in downtown Cincinnati, Wash Park Art.

 

 

Our Anniversary

Evan and I woke up and made a fabulous breakfast that included gluten free pancakes with apples, cinnamon and walnuts–YUMMY! And because it was such a great day for being outside, we went up to Nature’s Corner, a wonderful little garden store, and treated ourselves to some anniversary presents!

Here are some of the fun shade plants we bought today that are now keeping our rain barrel good company:
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Everything was perfect–Avis hung out while we gardened and didn’t bark too much and even the orange iris opened!
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Did you know that each color of iris has a different kind of fragrance? The orange one actually smells of citrus 🙂

My sweet prince has turned into quite the vegetable gardener:
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I am a blessed woman to be here in Sayler Park on this fine spring day with my wonderful husband.
Today truly was a little piece of heaven with my beloved.
And tonight we go out to dine and celebrate our ninth anniversary!
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The Beauty of the Rain

It’s totally raining like cats & dogs out there, or as my Dad might say ‘like cow piss on a flat rock’ (Dad’s down-home homilies are always full of great visuals!)
But on a more poetic note, I’m reminded of that beautiful Dar Williams song,
“The Beauty of the Rain.”
The first lines of the song are so lovely:

“And you know the light is fading all too soon
You’re just two umbrellas one late afternoon
You don’t know the next thing you will say
This is your favorite kind of day
It has no walls
The beauty of the rain
Is how it falls, how it falls, how it falls”

The beauty of the rain on flower petals is one of my very favorite things in life. So now that the rain has let up a bit, I was able to get some photos that may become paintings:
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I have to admit I do like a good rain–the kind that pounds the pavement and saturates the thirsty earth. I’ve been reshaping my garden this spring to let more light in. This has been such a great metaphor for my life right now. Every now and again, it’s good regroup, reassess and prune the things that will allow for more growth in other areas. I’m looking forward to the beautiful colors that will come from letting more light in . . . both in my gardens and in my life.
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Works for sale!

Many of my original flower paintings have been sold to very good homes!
I am a blessed girl to have some true lovers of flowers and art in my life.
Now there only remains four last paintings in my inventory!
I’m looking forward to painting more flowers this summer, and also to my flower painting workshop in June at Bromwell’s!
If you would like to adopt one of these paintings and provide them with a good home, or if you’d like to take the workshop, feel free to contact me: shepbrant@yahoo.com
I would love to teach you!
And I would love to sell these paintings and make some room in my studio for more art-making!

Revealed

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Patrick's Petunia

Enfolded