Honor Thy Father & Mother collection: Part 1

Barb Toland My Stuff

Over the past couple months, in addition to the Venus de Milo series I recently released, I've also quietly been conceptualizing & beginning a new collection I've decided to call, Honor Thy Father & Mother ❤💜

This collection of 26 pieces ranging in size from 4" x 4" minis up to 24" x 24" larger works, will be a combination of watercolor & encaustic, and is intended to honor the life of two very special people who were, and always will be, near & dear to me — my mother, Marilyn & my father, Herschel. They have both passed in recent years, but will always remain vividly & fondly in my heart.⁣

And in the bigger scope of things, this series is also meant to honor all mothers & fathers, and everything they do to provide for their children. 

There are 3 things I know for sure about my Mom & Dad...

Mom loved butterflies, Dad's favorite color was red, and they both had huge, beautiful hearts. So for this new collection there will be lots of butterflies with a red heart added to each one.

I'll also be sharing some of the butterfly things Mom collected over the years to show you where all my inspiration is coming from. I am so excited about sharing this heart journey with you!

So I've started some sketching & playing, trying to get a feel for where I want to go. And the butterfly above is one of my favorite sketches thus far.⁣

I've found that spending some time in creative play is one of the best ways to open up my mind & he❤art to lots of new ideas & exciting possibilities. Tossing some aside & keeping others is a less fearful way of loosening up creatively.

Knowing I can let my inner child out to play without judgement & ridicule (I call it running amuck 😂) is always a good day! ⁣

Needless to say, sketching is the bomb!

Do you like the color choices in the sketch above? 💛💚💙💚💛💙

I enjoy using colors that are next to each other on the color wheel — or analogous colors for all you color rocks stars out there 😉😎 Van Gogh was a color master & he used this concept a lot in his paintings, so I'm at least in good company!

They tend to add harmony, but also a kind of vibrancy to a painting, so I find myself using this kind of color scheme quite a bit.

Mom loved blues & purples, so I wanted to include this sketch above as well. It's a little more on the art deco side, which I kinda like. This is probably it for sharing these sketches, although it's sort of hard for me to switch out of this play state & get to work 🙂 Who am I kidding? It's pretty much all play 🙆🏻🎨💕

If you remember from the Venus de Milo series, her entire story was about the necessary, but at times hard work of navigating thru transformation & change. It is to date, the most powerful series that I have ever done.

So it got me excited about doing this butterfly collection not only to honor the lives of my Mom & Dad, but also for an even deeper & broader purpose.

By using the metaphor of a butterfly's lifespan, perhaps it can help inspire us all to dig deeper when an opportunity for transformation presents itself in our lives. And just maybe it can help us find the courage necessary to navigate thru these changes with grace & determination.

Truth be told though, change is hard.

Sometimes even brutal.

That's why it's so much easier to cling to the old way of thinking & doing. But just like the the cocoon does before it becomes a brilliant butterfly, growth only happens by going thru tough situations  —  not by going around them, ignoring them, or resisting them.

My Mom & Dad were definitely risk takers & change embracers. I saw them follow their inner compasses many times during their lives with such heart & determination.

And by watching & learning from them, they taught me the courage necessary to make some really tough changes in my own life. Some brutal. Some not so much.


They taught me thru their actions more than their words, that taking the risk to become the butterfly can be so much more rewarding than remaining the caterpillar.

If they had not set this example for me, I'm not so sure I would have been able to extract myself from a very painful & crushing relationship, and find my inner butterfly.

And if they had not set this example for me, not sure I would have been able to leave my comfy life at the office behind, and reclaim my inner artist.

Those are 2 of the biggest changes that have happened in my life thus far, but there have been lots of small ones too. And I found the courage in me to do them all by watching my parents have the tenacity & courage to make changes in their own lives.⁣

Also, I've learned that I can show up each day & take baby steps, and I can rest when I need to ... no leaps are required when I don't want to. And normally, I don't want to ;-)

How about you? What baby steps (or giant leaps) are you taking to spread your wings? I'd love to know 💕🐛 Scroll down & chat with me in the comments below...

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