They Lift Me - contemporary mixed media landscape painting celebrating the sandhill cranes by New Mexico artist Dawn Chandler

There are several quiet conversations going on in this painting.

Between the coral figure and the blue figure;

Between the large cranes and the small cranes;

Between the people and the cranes;

I think they’re all taking about flying.

Don’t those wings just lift you?

They do, me.
They lift my spirit.
Lift my heart.
Lift my thoughts, my mood… my dreams…

I find it impossible to look to soaring wings and not be uplifted.

…..

Something to note about figures when I include them in my paintings is that I don’t usually see them as anyone in particular. So even though the shape of that blue figure is the silhouette of my mother from an old photograph as I shared here, in this painting that figure could me anyone: You, me, him, her….  Same with the coral figure.

Really, the figures stand as an invitation to you the viewer, to imagine yourself in the form of the figure, stepping into and experiencing the painting. That blue figure — note how their feet are placed — seems literally to step into the picture plane.a detail of the painting They Lift Me - contemporary mixed media landscape painting celebrating the sandhill cranes by New Mexico artist Dawn Chandler

Something else to consider: The cranes are the same color as the central figure. Are they cut of the same cloth? Made of the same fiber, the same breath?

And the coral figure seems the same hue as the smaller birds. Are they catching the glow of the setting sun? or perhaps the rising sun? Why are they smaller — is it because they are younger, or perhaps they are just further away?

By the way, have you noticed the third figure? Look carefully at that brownish-red color, and you may notice the outline of a woman, slightly turned, as if glancing to look over her shoulder to the cranes.

And then there’s a coyote or wolf figure who seems to howl in the center of the painting. He was unplanned — I only just now noticed him…..

This painting, I think is about dreams — the kind of dreams that lift us, and invite us to stretch our wings and fly, fly….fly….

 

a crane detail of the painting They Lift Me - contemporary mixed media landscape painting celebrating the sandhill cranes by New Mexico artist Dawn Chandler

 

a detail of crane wings in the painting They Lift Me - contemporary mixed media landscape painting celebrating the sandhill cranes by New Mexico artist Dawn Chandler

 

another crane detail in the painting They Lift Me - contemporary mixed media landscape painting celebrating the sandhill cranes by New Mexico artist Dawn Chandler

 

a detail of two figures and a crane in the painting They Lift Me - contemporary mixed media landscape painting celebrating the sandhill cranes by New Mexico artist Dawn Chandler

 

one of the figures is made of text against a sky blue background in the painting They Lift Me - contemporary mixed media landscape painting celebrating the sandhill cranes by New Mexico artist Dawn Chandler

 

the full painting - They Lift Me - contemporary mixed media landscape painting celebrating the sandhill cranes by New Mexico artist Dawn Chandler

They Lift Me ~ by Dawn Chandler
mixed media on paper mounted on panel ~ 16″ x 12″
This painting is available here.

 

 

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Blessings ~

Dawn Chandler


All photos & paintings throughout this blog are by Dawn Chandler unless otherwise noted.