"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home" (Twyla Tharp)

Heartfelt ...



© Vicki Lee Johnston


Anybody who knows me understands that I am a mad collector of nature treasures and in particular seashells.  I absolutely adore them, I don't think anything man made could be as beautiful.  Over the years I have collected various bits and pieces and even though I am trying to downsize and declutter all the 'stuff' that accumulates over the years I can't bear to part with these beautiful jewels of nature.  Especially considering so many were found with my beloved husband and children after hours spent wandering beaches.








I always wanted to paint them and in particular one of my favourites, a beautiful heart cockle which I have had from the early days of collecting.  




It just really speaks to me, probably because I am an old romantic and  it has the most beautiful shades of soft neutrals and pinks.  So I decided that for Valentine's Day I would paint it for my husband instead of giving a card.  I am so lucky to have such a wonderful partner in life - he has been my rock, my best friend and such a great supporter of any path I choose, he has such faith in me and the feeling is mutual.  




I managed to draw up this tricky shell with all its bumps and crevices and light and shade.  Due to a week long heatwave I only had two days to paint it so I didn't expect to finish it in time.  I think though when you love a subject and feel an affinity the process is a lot more organic and intuitive so fortunately I did manage to get further along.



© Vicki Lee Johnston
The very early stages trying to capture the road map of detail.



© Vicki Lee Johnston
Although it was only intended as a card I am now regretting using the old SBA course work paper - as you can see the buckling is apparent!



© Vicki Lee Johnston



Getting a bit further into the detail, bringing in warmer hues and subtle shadows.
Voila!  Almost done ... a few tweaks here and there, then my usual method of stretching the paper to remove the buckles and it should do.


© Vicki Lee Johnston
 The quality of the photo is poor but I will get around to cleaning up the background so that it doesn't look so grey.







As usual he almost trumped me with his card which I love - it will be framed also because we love to make plans and adventures together and it also speaks to me.

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone - even though it is a romantically inclined tradition I always see it as an opportunity to celebrate love in any form, whether it be family, friends, pets, nature, the universe ... we could all use more love x
 
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn
is just to love and be loved in return"

'Nature Boy' - Eden Ahbez 


© Vicki Lee Johnston



10 comments:

  1. Vicki painting of the cockle shell is absolutely stunning....I'm sure Tod will be overwhelmed by it.
    Like you I so many of natures beauties amongst my therapeutic clutter......sea shells even back from when I was a child, beautiful colour rocks, seed pods, leaves, bark etc.....I've tried many times to de clutter the collection & each one brings back a memory....so nothing really gained by thinking I could part with some of them....I'm nearly as bad with books....
    Keep up the beautiful work ....you are an inspiration
    Hugs Tricia πŸžπŸƒπŸš

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    1. Thank you so much Tricia.
      I could live in a shed as long as I had loads of nature around me.
      Really appreciate the lovely comment, big hugs back xx

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  2. Dear Vicki, this is beautiful! Love it! Bonne St-Valentin chère amie!

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    1. Thank you my beautiful friend, hope you enjoyed your special dinner.
      Hugs to both of you xx

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  3. this is so beautiful....❤️.....so inspiring!

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    1. Thank you so much Laura, I am happy it is - more shells to come!

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  4. Vicki, Your heart cockle painting turned out beautifully--the texture, subtle colors and sweet shape are quite charming. I am sure your husband was thrilled! Best wishes to you both!!

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    1. Thanks so much Janene, sorry for late reply your comment went to my spam folder. It was a very enjoyable piece and I hope to do more. Best wishes to you, love all your work

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  5. What a beautiful piece.

    Some of my best memories are walking along beautiful beaches with you collecting shells Mumma. I love that we have these treasures that will last forever. So many memories with every little unique shell and rock.

    Your talent is so inspiring. I am so lucky to have an amazing mother and best friend like you to encourage a more creative pathway. The world can be all that you imagine x

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  6. Oh my gosh - what a lovely comment. This piece meant a lot to me but was probably one of the fastest I have completed because it came from my heart.

    I have so many memories of our beach walks and special times - will never forget. How lucky I am to have the sweetest daughter ever.

    Thank you for seeing the world through my eyes and realising there is so much beauty - and then making it even more beautiful by the work you do.

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