Look Cranes!!!

That’s what I always say when I see sandhill cranes. I see them, I grab my phone, and I take tons of pictures. Then I tell myself I need to paint these amazing birds. Then I don’t.

Then I hit “repeat” because I see cranes again, then I yell out that fact, look for my phone, and take more pictures. So I had to break the cycle. I also needed to get my watercolors out again. It’s been a year. Let’s paint some cranes!!!

I got my paper out, reference photos, paint and water. Ready to paint; I painted. Then I threw that sheet away and started again. This is my second effort. I enjoyed painting the cranes but what do I do with the background. I know you should start with the background first. (It says that in all of the art books.)

My friends gave me different suggestions for backgrounds but I ended up loving the blades of grass the best. I thought it made the painting look contemporary. Can’t explain why, but I like using a word that has more then two vowels. Contemporary. It makes me feel like a big time artist.

So here are my cranes. I call them “My Three Stars”.

“My Three Stars”

Helen

Helen was born in 1939  in Schlesien, Germany. She was 14 years old when her family had escaped Germany and ended up in Watertown,Wisconsin. Her story I found fascinating. It is hard to imagine the life and death struggles her parents made in order to bring their family to a country where they didn’t even speak the language.

Everyone has a story; a beginning and a end. Not all of us crossed the great Atlantic to begin a new life, but we all have crossed distances to become who we are today.

As a child we had little choice but to follow our parents. Whether we wanted to move to a new city or start at a new school it really wasn’t up to us. We were children; we didn’t ask why.

When we became adults we are intoxicated by the freedom of our new found adulthood. We soon learn that each choice we made and distance we traveled didn’t always take us where we had expected. We are shaped by these experiences or lack of these experiences.

Some people are afraid to open the door to the possibilities of the unknown, paralyzed by a fear they can’t explain or understand. My mother often told me that she didn’t want me to be afraid of life like she was. She pushed me to be fearless. I think in the end she wished she hadn’t pushed quite so hard. 😜

Like Helen I’m still on an adventure. Helen has often told me that getting old isn’t for sissies. So I will grab hold of this next chapter of my life and squeeze out as much love and fun as I can. I don’t need to know what will happen next. Sometimes not knowing is half the fun.

Helen of Schlesien

I gave Helen a gift of her younger self. She’s still cute.