The Story of the Painting Fireflies at Dusk
The story of this egg tempera painting Fireflies at Dusk, began as inspiration long forgotten.
Fourteen years later, this painting of fireflies floating over a field of grass, manifested from restlessness.
Maybe it’s wanderlust or perhaps the hot summer breeze. Could be my home and studio hammered by hurricanes two years in a row. Maybe it’s just a bad case of bewilderment, and I’m ready to slip my attachments and travel. In my yoga practice, we say let go of whatever does not serve you. Fear and leaving our comfort zone stops most of us from letting go. Ironically, even when that comfort zone is fear.
Wherever this desire stems, it has got me tearing into clearing, organizing and remodeling projects. I’ve been updating my kitchen, emptying the garage and adding exciting new features to my art I’ll share soon.
A few years ago I unloaded my art show cargo trailer in the garage, depositing decades of boxed up art paraphernalia. My paintings are acquired through galleries and exclusive private collector list now. It’s been ages since I’ve done a show like in those days when I hauled the trailer behind a large truck camper.
Well I tore into those old stored art containers, and that’s when I uncovered the story of Fireflies at Dusk.
Fourteen years ago, a friend loaned me a book, Me Talk Pretty One Day. I carried it to art shows to read while traveling.
One evening after a show, I was sitting outside the camper reading my borrowed book. I glanced up and saw fireflies flickering on the edge of a field. I grabbed my paints but couldn’t find a canvas, so I quickly painted a color sketch on a page with my oil paints.
Then my life changed, and before I could return the book it disappeared.
While going through a box from the trailer, I came across the old paperback. Flipping through the pages, I found this painted sketch I’d made that night long ago.
Fireflies. . . When was the last time I noticed them here in Florida? Trying to remember brought a flood of summer memories.
As children, we darted barefoot among fireflies under the magnolia in my grandma Dewey’s back yard, and watched them glowing above the salt marsh by the river. And there was that magical moment in the depths of the Everglades when fireflies floated in the moonlight.
Decades later, I lived in the mountains of North Carolina. That summer I remember royal sunsets, sparkling streams, moonrise through the pines, deer and turkey passing and coyotes howling on the ridge.
But I still can’t recall if fireflies danced above the pond in the Blue Ridge dusk.
All this cleaning and clearing out stuff is freeing my mind and filling it with new inspiration. Memories married to adventure inspire Art.
I look forward to sharing more art adventures with you. Maybe our paths will cross this summer.
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Now go make happy memories.