Radiance: Spring Equinox Recovery Gals Art Exchange

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Photo @ Tammi Salas

The theme for the Spring Recovery Gals Art Exchange was Radiance.  This theme really resonated with me.  I love the sun.  I love how it feels on my skin, I love the vitamins it gives me, I love the symbolism of it.  My dad called me his sunshine girl when I was little and still does.  We danced to “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” at my wedding.  Sun reminds me of car rides with my dad in our 70’s paneled station wagon listening to “Daydream Believer” by the Monkees, or “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles.  After the winter, my soul craves the sun, I get seasonal depression, and being born a summer baby I also think has something to do with my love for the sun.   I remember my mom used to tell the story of when I was born, and she said the sun came out just before.  So, as you can imagine, the sun was my inspiration for this.

Then Covid-19 hit.  And my need for radiance, and the sun, was even more immediate.  I’ll be honest, the introvert in me loves the stay-at-home order.  I excel at working from home, and even in this environment got a new job.  I love the added time I have with my kids because I don’t have to commute.  But even the introvert in me is craving a bit of society.  And while some days have been gorgeous in Chicago, when it rains it seems to rain for a week at a time.  So this project transported me to the summer and days of beach lounging and reading book after book, hearing the lake Michigan waves crash at my feet.

Here is my dad, dropping off masks he’s sewing (he does not know how to sew and taught himself so that he could donate masks to those in need)

dad mask

Here is my remote workspace. Notice the yellow curtains.  (Sun!)



I have had my challenges with all of this time at home and wrote about that in another blog here What the Coronavirus has Taught Me about my Sobriety

My partner in this exchange’s Instagram tagline is #sobermermaid.  She also loves the ocean and often takes gorgeous pictures of the sun.  I wanted to capture that, both the sunrise and the sunset.  As I started to layout my project, the song from Norah Jones kept running through my head:

Sunrise, sunrise
Looks like mornin’ in your eyes
But the clock’s held 9:15 for hours
Sunrise, sunrise
Couldn’t tempt us if it tried
‘Cause the afternoon’s already come and gone


I wanted the colors to blend simply, and for the sun to be the star of the show.  I took two blank canvases and used two different color palettes.  I cut a circle out with masking tape, and put that on the canvas first, and then taped off the sides.


I had seen a technique where you blend the colors together after putting droplets of paint on the palette, and I wanted to do that to create that blended sunrise and sunset look.

The Sunrise

For the sunrise, I wanted to add some blue and pink.






The Sunset

For the sunset, I added oranges and red.



I gently brushed back and forth to create the sunset. Then I peeled the tape away.

Next, I added some detail to make the sun rays stand out.  My daughter also suggested a bit of glitter.


She created her own version and we worked together.


Then I took the tape off the edges.



To keep in line with learning new mediums during these exchanges, I had seen a really cool necklace at the Chicago C2E2 Comic Convention, one of the last public events I went to before the coronavirus.  I asked the artist what medium she used, and she told me resin.  I knew I wanted to try it, and she had added some glitter to hers, and stars and moons, and that fit well with the radiance theme.

First I got the resin, and you had to mix equal parts of the mixture.


Next, I added glitter and stars.


I mixed them together for a minute or two, then poured into the pendant shell.


I also did another pendant, recycling a blue-tinted pendant I had that reminded me of the ocean.  I waited 24 hours for them to dry.

Then I added a silver chain and boxed them up.

pendants final

I like to include a gemstone with my recovery gal exchanges, and unfortunately, the local gem shop I like to go to was closed due to the stay-at-home order.  So I ordered through the mail from a shop called Energy Muse.  I picked sunstone, of course.


“A Native American legend says that Sunstone Tumbled Stone came from the blood of a great warrior who was wounded by an arrow. The warrior’s blood, which gave Sunstone its shade of red, carried his spirit into the stone. The effervescent energy of this stone nourishes the sacral chakra, encouraging confidence, power, sensuality and leadership. Freed from self-doubt, your creativity will flourish.”

I enjoyed this exchange very much, and I am glad my partner finally received her package – it traveled from Chicago, Illinois to Australia!

I am also loving this extra time at home to spend with the kids during my lunch breaks, they are both creating art as well – I think art is what is keeping us all balanced right now amid this pandemic.

My mom was near me like she always is during this exchange.  I find the more I connect with art, the more I connect with her.  Pretty cool.  I found this buddha light she had purchased for our cottage in Michigan, and I brought it home to stay with me.  /She collected buddhas, although she was not Buddhist. She just liked them and had a small collection. It’s one of those lights where you put your finger on it, and the heat (?) radiates to your fingers.  Pretty appropriate for this theme, I believe.



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