Honor Thy Father & Mother collection: Part 2

Barb Toland

Let's pick up where we left off in the last blog post, where I introduced to my newest watercolor & encaustic collection, Honor Thy Father & Mother.

I talked about how this collection is meant to honor my Mom & Dad who have both passed in the last few years. And with an even wider brushstroke, it's also meant to honor all of our mothers & fathers who have lifted us up, and supported us over the years.

If there's one thing I hope to do with this collection, is that by reading about memories & recollections I have had of my Mom & Dad, that it rekindle fond  memories of yours.

So there's one thing I know for sure, my Dad liked red  ... a LOT. In the 80's, one of his favorite outfits was red, white & tan plaid pants (mostly red 🥰), a red golf shirt — and since he went thru a cowboy phase, this outfit was also replete with cowboy boots, hat & belt buckle 

He was his own man for sure, very charismatic (in a good way) and quite intelligent. He had an engineer's brain, and could visually build things & solve problems in his head.

For better or worse, that same gene showed up in my genetic makeup as well. And it's probably why I love anything tech, and why I also love to make art. They're more closely related thank you would think!

He was also an excellent woodworker & craftsmen, and was always making things & gifting them to others. I have a pair of beautiful oak adirondack chairs he made that I enjoy sitting in and remembering him & Mom 

Because he was such a bighearted guy & loved the color red, every little red heart you see in this collection is for him...

My Mom was a generous soul — especially when it came to those less fortunate. The collection of stickers below is a testament to that. She donated $$ to just about every non-profit you could imagine. Many of them sent her stickers & mailing labels as a thank you gift, and this is just a tiny fraction of the ones I unearthed when clearing out their home 

She was also magical at growing plants, and had a green thumb I envied for a very long time! We had a huge bay window in our home growing up, and it was full from top to bottom with her lush green plants 💚🌱

And when we were kids especially, she was stylish in the way she dressed, and ahead of her time when it came to home decor. We had a lovely blue kitchen when avocado green & harvest gold were still trending lol. She taught me it was more important to buy quality instead of quantity. It's still my excuse to this day when I want to buy something pricey!

But the most vivid memory I have of my Mom was her smile 🙂💕 She always had one for me & for others — even during the times when I knew things were tough for her. She lived life on the sunny side for sure. I try to follow her lead when living mine. I just never realized until I became an adult how hard she had to work to do so 🌞💜

Altogether, this will be a collection of 26 encaustic & watercolor paintings called, Honor Thy Mother & Father 💜 This series will range in size from mini 4" x 4"s on up to the largest being 24" x 24". So there will be a number of sizes & price ranges to choose from.

And now on with the show ... shall we?

Ahhhh, the joy of those first brush strokes...

They always light my heart up like a million Christmas lights!

And this one below is what I call the all over messy stage 😉 Since I paint watercolor on canvas, it's easy enough to clean up later.

I enjoy doing it this way because it gets me loosened up, which helps me approach my work with enthusiasm, a certain light-heartednes, and a much more relaxed headspace.

Less stress, better results 😉🙆🏻🎨

An artist has to trust the process, right?

Come to think of it, in general it's the best way for gracefully navigating life's tricky waters of transformation & growth.

If we cling to the branches along the river for too long, we miss the adventure. Grab a branch for a little rest occasionally. But then be brave & let go, trust the river's current — discover the joy of the water's flow.⁣⁣

It's probably why I love working with watercolor & hot molten wax. Their "flowiness" (is that a word?) has taught me so darn much about the art of trusting, allowing & letting go.

But I'm still learning 🙂

And the fluidity of watercolor makes the most interesting marks, like puddles fixed in time...

Here's the one from a few images back, a little further along...

That final watercolor layer is about adding some refinements & more color of course...

Each & every butterfly in this collection is to remind you of fond memories of those you loved, while remembering to live your life as courageously & hopefully as they did.

Like the caterpillar on its way to becoming a butterfly, navigating transformation & change can lead to a beautiful life if we trust & have faith in the process.

And now that the butterfly paintings for the 20 minis are done, I'll be adding a fun detail in the circle around the butterflies next. And then on to the encaustic wax part! With lots more color of course 😉👍🏻

So stay tuned ... there's more to come.

And as always, I would love to hear about those fond memories & stories of your folks, or just chat art in general. Scroll down & shoot me a note in the comments below 🎨

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