Daddy's Christmas Angel

Saturday, April 18, 2015

"P" is for Portal to Peace - A to Z Challenge

"Portal to Peace" ©Mary Montague Sikes

Portals have long fascinated me, and I often use them in my paintings. As a young child, Farrah Ferand, the main character in Evening of the Dragonfly, remembers overhearing a conversation between her mother and her grandfather. He told Martha Ferand about his belief that Earth was the war planet where souls come to fight. Her mother said that somewhere in the Universe there must be a "portal to peace". That thought stuck with the seven-year-old, and she transcribes the vision from her imagination into a painting for her one-person show. (Although this scene is not an actual one from the book, Farrah's back story makes her into the character she becomes in my novel.)

"Portal to Peace" is 20 x 16 inches, mixed water media on canvas. It's painting number twelve for the exhibition being created during the A to Z Challenge project.

Friday, April 17, 2015

"O" is for Optimism - A to Z Challenge

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” I love this quote from Winston Churchill.

Optimism.

When Farrah Ferand, my heroine from Evening of the Dragonfly, sees a dragonfly or groups of them, she feels optimism. Although they seem somehow connected to the death of her grandfather and then the death of her mother, she believes sighting of the dragonflies is like seeing the spirits of her departed loved ones.
They are a symbol of their love. They bring her optimism.

"Optimism" ©Mary Montague Sikes

Do you have symbols that bring you joy? Are you an optimist, or do you see pessimism in everything?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"N" is for Neverland - A to Z Challenge

"Mystical Neverland" ©Mary Montague Sikes
Neverlands are fictional locations in the minds of children, according to J. M. Barrie, author of the play Peter Pan and the 1911 novel Peter and Wendy. These places are not the same from one child to another. For me, Neverlands alway involve trees and the sanctuary found in the woods. I look out the window from my writing studio into a Neverland, and I treasure it.

For Farrand Ferand, the heroine of Evening of the Dragonfly, woods and trees are her Neverland. She loves the beauty of the trees and listening to the birds sing as she strolls through the woods. The occasional sighting of a herd of deer brings a sense of wonder to her. The landscape is both magical and mystical.

Her new painting, "Mystical Neverland", is the completion of yesterday's large canvas. This art work is 18 by 36 inches, acrylic and mixed watermedia on canvas.

Can you see the magic of Neverland in this painting?


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"M" is for Mystical - A to Z Challenge

"Mystical Forest" ©Mary Montague Sikes
Farrah Ferand's passion for trees and forests continues as she paints a mystical forest today. Farrah, the heroine of Evening of the Dragonfly studies the woods near her home and the trees that grow there, wondering what they have seen all around them during many decades of life. The non-evergreen trees in Virginia are losing their leaves in the autumn. Those leaves are completely gone by the time of her one-person art show. Sometimes the trees are shrouded in mist, giving them a mysterious appearance. Farrah remembers the mysteries of the forest as she works on her new painting.

"Mystical Forest" is actually half of a painting. This acrylic and watercolor art work is on an 18" x 36" canvas. The other half of the canvas will be the Neverland painting for tomorrow. How she will bring the two parts of this painting together, Farrah has not yet decided. We will learn more tomorrow.


For those of you who have just joined this blog journey:
Evening of the Dragonfly is a novel set in the 1980s, a time less complicated than today. Farrah Ferand has a high school art teaching job in a small Virginia town. She meets Dirk Lawrence, a businessman from the city, who takes an interest in her and in her painting and is helping her build a studio over the garage in her rented home. Farrah is thrilled to have the studio because she has a one-person art exhibition scheduled. As she works on new paintings, Farrah realizes things about herself, her relationships, and the tragic loss of her mother. We encounter some of her realizations as new paintings and parts of painting are unveiled each day during the A to Z Challenge. My book is available in trade paperback and as an e-book.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"L" is for Love - A to Z Challenge

"Love Song" ©Mary Montague Sikes
Of course, "L" is for Love, if you write romance novels. The word love means a lot to the heroine of my novel, Evening of the Dragonfly. Farrah Ferand is falling in love with the hero of the story, Dirk Lawrence. She is growing to love the high school art students she teaches. And throughout the entire book, Farrah's love for her mother shows through.

Although tainted by the terrible tragedy that overcame her mother in the end, Farrah has lovely memories as well. She recalls days as a small child when she danced with her mother and sister among the flowers that grew in the fields of their Mississippi farm. As she works on this painting for her one-person art exhibition, she indicates those flowers and fields in a poetic love song.

"Love Song" is 20" x 16" watercolor on canvas. It is painting number 10 for Farrah's art show.

Book readers, I would love to know what you think. Is Evening of the Dragonfly a romance? I'm not sure.