Sally is a desert traveler who is slowly waking up from months of hibernation. Her favorite food is Romaine lettuce and she loves fresh water. I love the colors of her shell and her warm personality. I tried to express both of these throughout the painting of this sweet little soul. It is very amazing to watch a tortoise eat because it is a relaxing sight. All of her movements are slow and calming which many people can learn from. When was the last time you went to a restaurant or prepared a meal at home and sat in a long conversation with a loved one? My husband and I try to do this daily. Whether it is breakfast or dinner, we always try to make the time to sit like Sally and enjoy each other’s company. Tortoises are great teachers as are all animals. I also tried to embrace her calm while painting all the tiny dots in her shell.
The funny thing about details in watercolor is the fact that when I make all these tiny dots, I also wash them away with one drop of water. This medium has always been a joyous experience because it changes just like the flow of a river. I can only plan a composition so much with watercolor because it always seems to take on a life of its own. I love watching Sally cross the yard in her own time. She reminds me of each painting I have ever done and how much patience they all take. Sally meets every challenge that comes her way and pushes through frustration like the little tank she has become. She is fearless! I also wanted to add light colors to this piece because she loves basking in the sun.
I chose to leave the background white and create a light shadow under her shell to show how bright the sun is here in the desert. The light illuminates everything and plays tricks on the mind with many mirages. I love how her little mouth is open and hoping for a huge bite of the lettuce even though she always makes a small incision. I hope her personality of warmth, love, and patience shines through on this painting. I also hope you all have a Sally in your life as a reminder to slow down, bask in the sunlight, and flow like a river through any obstacles. Thank you for reading and commenting on the last blog. Enjoy your weekend!