This is a pencil portrait of my daughter Elsa. I love this pre-verbal age, full of pure spirit and joy! Lately when I’m with her, I’ve been thinking about how we heal our inner child wounds as adults, and try to get back to that uninhibited joy and love, which she expresses so naturally and bountifully. It’s such a treasure to spend time with young children.
Painting of my boys playing in water
This is a painting that I recently finished, of my two sons playing in a forest stream on the first day of spring this year. My daughter was there too, but she was being held in my arms while I took the photo! I’ll be starting on a portrait drawing of her soon, which I’ll share here when finished.
Isn’t it interesting how we are attracted to water? The kids were naturally drawn to go play in the stream. This painting got me to thinking about water, so I’ll share a few of my musings:
I heard Dr. Edith Ubuntu Chan discuss on a podcast how water is three times more important to survival than food, as one can survive on only water three times longer than one can survive without food (except for breatharians, which is a mysterious deep dive topic that I haven’t yet looked into)!
I’ve also heard that if you place a sacred geometric design next to a glass of water, it structures the water. Someone told me that they tested this by putting a plant cutting in a jar of structured water and another in a jar of unstructured water, and the plant in the structured water jar stayed perky and healthier for a much longer period of time.
Lastly, one of my favorite songs recently is about water. It’s by Caribefunk, one of my favorite bands from Colombia.
Of course it all rhymes in Spanish, but here are the lyrics in English:
The day got dark when the sky shouted,
The birds were frightened, a raindrop fell from the sky,
The women with their umbrellas, dancing to the son (an afro-Cuban dance) of the rain,
And a drum of serenade, from the silence, a social gathering
If the sky cries, I dance in its tears,
Gray days also have their charm
if the storm forms a celebration
and a rainbow gifts me melodies
Rainstorm in May,
Rain of my April,
100 children playing,
in my Caribbean everyone is happy
Rainstorm, let me flow (i.e. let the water run freely),
Hope that you shelter me like you did yesterday
Rainstorm, hopefully it rains coffee in the countryside (ode to a classic song by Juan Luis Guerra),
Rainstorm, gray days also have their charm,
Rainstorm, and may it rain upwards from my moon,
Rainstorm, my Caribefunk brought you happiness,
Paintings in Progress – Kids Playing at Creek, Golden Gate Bridge
This past week I’ve started working on a couple new paintings:
- My boys playing at a forest creek on the first day of spring. This was at Runnymede Park in Herndon, Virginia. While exploring the forest and creek, we tried to track a large woodpecker that would briefly show itself, then fly away to another tree.
- The Golden Gate Bridge. I’ve always found this bridge to be a beautiful architectural marvel.
Bahia Honda Florida Keys Painting
A few days ago, I finished this commissioned oil painting of Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys!
When I look at this painting, I feel adventure. I want to climb up the palm tree, cool off in the turquoise water, then get in my car and drive to the next island to explore more!
As I mentioned in an earlier post on Bahia Honda, “…the park is known for balmy sea breezes that caress the shores year-round. Kayaks and snorkeling gear can be rented, and boat trips to the reef for snorkeling excursions are available. The park is an excellent place to observe wading birds and shorebirds, while the Sand and Sea Nature Center introduces nature lovers to the island’s plants and animals.”
This painting is now available in the Seascapes section of my Etsy store, in the following 3 print formats:
Belgian Linen Canvas: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1033556883/bahia-honda-canvas-art-print-florida
Birch Wood Panel: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1020080628/bahia-honda-birch-wood-panel-print
Archival Matte Paper: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1019614702/bahia-honda-art-print-florida-keys
Bahia Honda Painting Progress
Here is a photo of my progress so far on this commissioned beach painting of Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys! I am intending to complete this painting this month, and once finished, I’ll be sure to make art print reproductions of it available on my Etsy store.
Historical Mural Restoration at Bank of America in Georgetown, DC
Historical Mural Restoration
Last night I completed a historical mural restoration at the Bank of America branch located on Wisconsin Avenue, in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC.
In speaking with the branch manager and another employee there, I found out that this mural is at least 100 years old! However, no one there seemed to know the exact date of it, or who painted it. I couldn’t find an artist signature anywhere on the mural.
The mural is located along a wall behind where the tellers are located. It looks like a nautical scene along the Potomac River. A few years ago, the bank was going to replace the mural with some standard advertising of bank products, but so many long-time customers complained to the bank about keeping the mural rather than replace it with advertising, and the bank actually listened! Hooray for that.
The restoration work involved applying more spackle to the patch of wall that had been repaired, in order to bring the repaired area level with the mural surface. From there, I was able to paint over the spackle and very closely match the original mural painting.
Here are before and after photos:
And here is a photo of more of the original mural:
I have to say, even though we had secure access to the bank, being in a bank after-hours is still a bit unnerving. I was accompanied by a guy from the commercial construction company (Meckley Services) that contracted this work out to me, so we got to hang out and tell stories the whole time, which made it more entertaining than it would have otherwise been!
Original Mediterranean Seascape Paintings
These original Mediterranean seascape paintings are dreamy seascapes with the rich turquoise and blue hues of the sea. One painting is from an actual seaside view on the Spanish island of Formentera, and the other painting is a boat docked at a colorful village, made from my imagination!
Formentera Seascape Original Painting
Painted on hand-stretched organic cotton canvas, which measures 20″ x 8″ x 1.25″.
Boat Docked at Colorful Mediterranean Village – Original Painting on Canvas
Painted on hand-stretched organic cotton canvas, which measures 10″ x 8″ x .75″
Both of these original paintings are available on my Etsy shop!
Prints of these paintings are available here:
Boat in Colorful Village – https://davewhiteartist.com/product/mediterranean-seascape-colorful-village-art/
Formentera Seascape – https://davewhiteartist.com/product/mediterranean-sea-painting-print-formentera/
Adorada Mama Polita – Portrait Painting
Recently I completed this portrait painting of my children’s great-great grandmother from Ambato, Ecuador, on the side of my ex-wife’s family. This is an oil painting on a linen canvas.
Initially, I thought I would publish this portrait painting in a blog post and write about her myself. But then I thought, who better to describe her than her own granddaughter who grew up living with her? So I asked her to write something that I could share.
Adorada Mama Polita
“Mama Polita was my maternal grandmother that lived with my parents and me from the time I was born. She would wake up at 4:30 a.m. and kneel in front of her alter and pray for 2 hours. I would sneak into her bedroom (at least I thought I was sneaking in….) and just listen to her pray and admire her devotion.
Mama Polita loved to garden and to be in nature. She was always nurturing the flowers, plants, and trees that she planted. (And she was also nurturing me.) I remember that she planted a peach tree in front of our home in Alexandria, VA. She would make peach marmalade with the peaches. So delicious.
She also loved to cook and bake. She made delicious dishes from Ecuador – her mother country that she missed so much. For the holidays, she would create feasts of so many dishes.
My grandmother was also an amazing storyteller. I would listen intently as she told colorful and vivid stories of the Bible, her childhood in Ecuador, and the many impassioned family members. These are stories that have left a lifetime of poignant memories for me. I have passed down those stories to my children, and I hope they will pass the stories on to their children. I’m helping with that as well 😊
My grandmother carried the beauty of music in her blood. From my birth until she passed away at 89 years old – I always remember her playing the guitar, singing classic music from the Andes – pasillos, valses, pasacalles, and yarabi (to name a few), and dancing.
She was also always writing… I have journals upon journals of hers – including poetry. What a bright light she was in my life. She saved me. She was my nurturer. Something my mom was not able to do…
Gracias Mama Polita. Although you had so much suffering in your life – you didn’t let that dim your light. Your legacy lives on through me, through my children, through my grandchildren, and future generations. You will never be forgotten. And now I have this amazing painting by my son-in-law Dave White – that I will cherish and will become a family heirloom. Te quiero con todo mi corazón viejita linda.”
I did know Mama Polita’s daughter, before she passed away. Everyone called her “Mama Elsita” (her name was Elsa). She was a really talented musician, as was her mother, Mama Polita. We named my daughter Elsa after her. Elsa was conceived in Ecuador, on Mama Polita’s birthday, in a hotel that used to be a convent. It was not planned like that! We call her our immaculate conception. So we had to give her the middle name Polita (as well as June, after my grandmother, whose portrait I also want to paint one day). Here we are in front of the Mama Polita portrait painting that I framed, which is now hanging in the house of my mother-in-law.
Madrid Painting – Plaza de Oriente
This oil painting is of a sunny morning in Madrid, at the Plaza de Oriente. A guitarist was sitting at the base of this monument, playing a classical song. The melody seemed to float through the air, almost as if it were silencing the loud city sounds and slowing the pace of the hustle of people all around.
Bahia Honda, Florida Painting
Today I’m excited to get started on a painting commission of Bahia Honda Key, Florida!
As stated on floridastateparks.com:
“Along with its iconic Florida scenery — palm-lined beaches, gin-clear waters and magnificent sunsets — the park is known for balmy sea breezes that caress the shores year-round. Kayaks and snorkeling gear can be rented, and boat trips to the reef for snorkeling excursions are available.
The park is an excellent place to observe wading birds and shorebirds, while the Sand and Sea Nature Center introduces nature lovers to the island’s plants and animals.”
Wow, that sounds wonderful.
Here is the photo I’ve been given to work with:
It’ll be an oil painting on an 18″ x 24″ canvas. I’ll share the painting here once it’s completed!