I wanted to share it here too to offer more smiles and to advertise Luc's process of learning to gain even more from art. He's an amazing teacher!
(This was done as a slide show with me talking. So, I'll put the pictures in groups. It's definitely smoother as the slide show with lots of side by side pictures and no bolded directions, but I think this does offer the feel.)
A woman is walking in the surf. She is wearing a creamy gauze dress that falls in soft wrinkles around her body and is tied with a wide belt of the same material. [cut to just her] It’s an old fashioned dress, so this may be a period piece. (The sailboat in the distance and the make of the houses could support that idea, but it is unclear.) She has her arms raised about her head [cut to head/face shot] and she is looking dreamily down to the right. The sun is late afternoon or early morning and it touches the edge of her forearm. One hand is hovering about to touch her hair and the other is holding it back as if she’s remembering a lovely memory, perhaps a tender touch? Her hair is brown and glowing in the slanting rays. The rays also hit the left side of her face and show smooth, young skin. What is her expression? She has the faintest hint of a smile. [cut back to just her] As she gently walks along the beach, we can see the bottom third of her legs has a lovely tan and her toes are obscured by the white of the surf and the rich, brown sand. [cut to full picture] The ocean waves are mild so this is likely a harbor or sheltered bay, but the color is a deep blue. Behind her a three masted sail boat is visible, but the hull is already out of site. [Brief view of the country] To her right and perhaps several hundred feet away is a rock wall with green lawns, trees, and few houses, on the other side of it is the ocean. [Full image] As she meanders, terns fly above her and we can hear their calls and the sound of the gentle surf. We can feel that sand, the water, the gentle breeze, and the warmth of the sun that mirrors her inner glow.
She might be thinking, “The surprise party was everything I wished to achieve.” or “I remember when he first said ‘Ma ma’ and today he took his first step.” or “He could not have proposed more beautifully. I’m so in love.” Whatever lovely memory she is relishing, this is a moment of contemplation. A person ponders a cherished thought. Her reaction is dreamy delight, but young Christopher Columbus has a different reaction.
In the full statue, Christopher Columbus sits on the pier piling and though his shoulder dips down, we can see in a closer image, his gaze faces out:
He responds to his cherished thoughts with an intense longing for a potential future, while Surfside (the title of my painting) is reveling in her thought of something past. Both come to the situation of pondering an important thought, yet their thoughts and reactions differ.
We’ll actually be looking at three comparisons to illuminate this painting further. [Picture of Slipper and Rose montage] I’ve been a hopeless romantic ever since I can remember. My favorite movie growing up was Slipper and the Rose, a glorious version of the Cinderella story.
So our second comparison, is in this clip. Cinderella has just left the ball. She is remembering the wonder and joy of a beautiful moment, just as Surfside is: watch clip
[Stop at 1:30 and put Beautiful Dreamer on the screen.]
This is definitely a scene with the same feeling of glorying in a beautiful moment. Finally, like Cinderella and Surfside, this lady, Beautiful Dreamer is glowing in pleasant thoughts.
Here we see a much more fancy lady looking dreamily down at something in her hand… we can see it better here [clip of her hand]. In this statue, a woman pauses, perhaps from a ball? and takes a moment to enjoy the company of the one she wishes were really there. [side by side of just Surfside lady and Beautiful Dreamer] There is the same look down and feeling of a glowing memory that is consuming the full sensory glory of both women. While the Cinderella clip and Beautiful Dreamer are clearly romantic moments, Surfside only might be. There are so many opportunities for reveling in beautiful moments and Surfside could reflect any one of them.
Like Anne of Green Gable’s passion of reveling in glorious memories and “flying up on the wings of anticipation” this joyful approach to relishing the beautiful and the happy speaks to me deeply. [My ocean pictures] One of my favorite places to do this is the ocean where the natural beauty fills me with delight. It’s a perfect spot for me to find joy in my experiences of the day, week, or more distant past. Just this morning, I paused between errands under the Eucalyptus trees and walked to the coast. The pelicans were migrating in silent flocks, gliding so smoothly that they seemed to be gently carried onward along the cliffs. The smell of the sea weed, the tickle of salt in the air, and the warmth of the morning sun all welcomed me into that place of glowing appreciation.
(The two pictures below were shown in a slide as coming from a thought bubble from the picture above:)
[Surfside and My ocean picture with the thought bubble: wedding, and kiddo] When I look at Surfside,I feel that glow that I feel when I look at a sparkling ocean. When I look at Surfside I feel that glow that I feel when I cherish a memory of times with my child, like this impromptu snuggle at the park. When I look at Surfside I feel that glow that I feel so often with tender touches, living happily ever after with the man of my dreams. Surfside is the only original oil painting I own. I love the moment of glowing, happy reflection that I see in Surfside and I live it often. I live 20 minutes from the ocean now and I make it part of almost every grocery trip… investing in five minute visits again and again to nourish that appreciation of joyful times. I recognize and respond to that same joy in Surfside. Here’s to living and relishing happily-ever-afters of every kind!
And we have some great happily-ever-after finale music:
Play starting at 1:46