Birth of a Painting Series VI: “Nobe Young Falls”.
“Nobe Young Falls”, oil on canvas, 3′ x 4′, 2010
Nature influences my art, every aspect of nature in the wild is so precious. In California we have been experiencing an extreme drought, which is causing fires, and tree disease and plant die out in our Sierra Nevada Mountains. We have lost thousands of trees in the last few years, and the loss of natural habitat is shocking.
My painting “Nobe Young Falls”, is a landscape created in oil paints. Nobe Young Falls are in Sequoia National Forest. I used to have a home in Camp Nelson, and the falls were near my home. It is an area that was homesteaded by my son’s great, great, grandmother, Nellie Marshall (the niece of John Marshall, discoverer of Gold! in California). She homesteaded 200 acres near Ponderosa, CA. in the Sierra Nevada’s of California, in 1870’s. She married Nathan Dillon, a gold rush businessman, and owner of land that is now Dillonwood Sequoia Grove in Sequoia National Park. Dillon Wood
As an artist and healer, I address the healing of our planet. I try to approach Climate Change, and our damaged environment, more as a spiritual issue. First, we must heal ourselves, and by doing so we will become aware of the reality of the global stress that humanity has caused.
My paintings are often bought by healing organizations and individuals. “Golden Falls”, was a corporate purchase by Kaweah Delta Medical Center, Visalia, California. They have bought several of my paintings.
“Golden Falls”, mixed media, gold leaf, on wood panel, 4′ x 6′, 2005.
Please promote self-healing by visiting beautiful sites in nature. Being in nature is a blessing, each flower will delight and encourage you, and the sounds of the forest and stream will lead you back to your true self.
Article by Denise Hartley, artist and gardener, etc.
I have inherited my grandmother’s love of flowers. Just moments after arriving for a visit, she would say, “Let’s go outside and see the garden.” Her door to the garden was a glass storm door, always letting in the light and colors of the garden. Her home was full of florals, a rose bud was placed on her dinner tray, and each of her linens and drapes were patterned with florals. My son later restored her garden while renting her home, a garden that was destroyed after many years of renters. “Blue Iris” is a photo taken by my photographer son, Chris Gilbert, in that garden. His photo was the source of my painting. When we sold her home, the blue iris came home with me, recently planted in this tree stump.
Flowers give me courage, the life of a flower is so ephemeral, the beauty of the flower quickly passes, and is soon replaced by another. My life is passing just as quickly, and I will soon be replaced by my children and grandchildren. I long to look at flowers (and grandchildren’s) beautiful faces. The blooms of chamomile go into my tea, I cherish scented flowers of the sweet pea, and the budding squash blossoms that will soon be vegetables. I love flowers!
In my little greenhouse I have a tray of tiny lavender plants, also snow peas, and a flat of chamomile. The flowers attract the butterflies, bees, and birds. My desk looks out over my garden. My dad was the gardener, with a large vegetable garden, and a pergola filled with red grapes. I am the new keeper of his garden. My garden here, although established, was a working man’s garden. I just finished planting his vegetable garden this winter, and I planted a peach tree, expecting blossoms and delicious peaches late spring.
Years ago, when my children were small, I was known as the artist that painted flowers. I had a large greenhouse filled with herbs, seed, and tiny plants. My retreat was a comfortable chair, just cherishing the quiet, and the scent of earth. The blooms, one of the healing powers of flowers, is the gardens reward. I opened a medicinal herb nursery, Emerald Gardens, and shared the bounty with the farmers market and the neighborhood deer.
Living on the South Fork of the Kaweah River, near the entrance of Sequoia National Park, I felt most comfortable backpacking alone, so I could linger in the beauty of the mountains. Hiking through mountain lion country, and crossing rivers, and snow watered creeks added excitement, but this was necessary to visit my favorite destination, Garfield Redwood Grove. Amazing, among the redwoods were shoulder high lupin flowers, and fern. http://www.redwoodhikes.com/SequoiaNP/Garfield.html
I am off to paint a ceiling mural, sky and clouds, on my future grandchild’s nursery!
In the Birth of a Painting Series, I try to give examples where the artist finds inspiration in creating an artwork, and how the creative process develops within the artist.
Painting, Blossom Peak, by artist Denise Hartley
I begin this series with my painting “Blossom Peak”. It is a 4’ x 6’, mixed media painting on a wood panel, created in 2004. It is in a private collection.
The inspiration for the painting “Blossom Peak” began on a hike I took with my son. We climbed an iconic peak in Three Rivers, California. Three Rivers is near the entrance to Sequoia National Park, on the banks of the whitewater Kaweah River. The park is the home of Mount Whitney, in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It is famous for its giant sequoia groves, jagged peaks, and glacier polished valleys, rushing rivers, and wildlife. As a resident of Three Rivers, hiking is an important experience, as well as white water rafting and swimming, and it is the backpackers dream location.
My young son I enthusiastically began our hike at the base of Blossom Peak, and headed straight up hill, we rose above California’s Central Valley, hidden by fog. After reaching the top, we could see the snow covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada, signed the book, made our cell calls, and then my son looked over the steep edge, and slipped. He somehow caught himself at the last moment at the precipice, a 35’ drop to the rocks below.
In the spirit of jubilant thankfulness, we began our descent. The inspiration of this painting was based upon the high emotions that I felt that day, and on our return, I began this painting, “Blossom Peak”.
Video: Birth of a Painting Series: “Blossom Peak”.