A Dragonfly Painting to Help Those Grieving


Coming soon for the upcoming holidays:
I will be running a special on this print, "The Ascent of the Dragonflies".
My wish is that anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one, especially during the holidays, can be gifted the sparks of hope, comfort, and peace that is within this painting. ✨💫


"The Ascent of The Dragonflies", Original Oil on Canvas. See below explanations of the details in this painting and hidden dragonfly! 

Yesterday was a studio day for me, and while driving back home from dropping Walter and Etta off at school and Grandma and Grandpa daycare 😊, I was in my listening zone. It is in these silent spaces, especially while driving, that it seems like light bulbs are practically thrown at me with new ideas. As I listened, I heard such a calling of the continued work and role my artwork has on those who are grieving. After painting "The Ascent of the Dragonflies" for Faith's Lodge two years ago, I then became aware of the affect my art has on touching the lives of those who have lost a loved one, but this was a new, overwhelming and strong sensation that I was feeling on a whole different level. Thoughts became very vivid with the desire and need to touch more lives with the dragonfly painting. When I got home, I knew I couldn't let all of these thoughts slip by, I just wasn't exactly sure what was next.

I walked in the house, made myself some hot coffee, grabbed my computer, and headed up to our attic - my studio space. As I often do right before I begin painting, I opened my computer to find an inspirational podcast or music to listen to. My go-to for quite sometime are Rob Bell's podcasts. I clicked on the Robcast link and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the latest episode - it was on GRIEF! "Shelby Forsythia is Giving Permission to Grieve". I practically laughed and said out loud - "What?! Really? Ok...I'll follow this lead, thank you 🙏". I do believe in signs and stars aligning, and knew with all my heart that this was one of those divine timing moments. 

As I got behind my easel, I started listening to this new podcast while I simultaneously embellished "The Light". (This was a new print order that had recently come in from a dear friend and grieving mother, who happens to be the same mother behind the creation of the dragonfly painting ✨. This all felt like a full-circle experience.) While painting and listening, there were moments I literally felt breathless with so much emotion towards those who are living with grief every single day. My heart could hardly handle the imagined pain of so many people, those both near and dear to me who have recently lost a loved one, as well as those of you I've never even met.

I now understand more than ever, that a large part of my art is to give light to those who are grieving. To offer my art as a way of connecting and remembering their loved ones and allowing those who view my paintings to grieve and somehow feel like they are not alone on this journey. Many have already shared with me that my paintings bring them to a place of comfort and peace, and some so much as to "see" their loved ones in the light of my paintings.     

I don't know exactly what the future holds for the channel of grief and my art, but for now, in the season of giving that is coming up, I would love to make my prints of "The Ascent of the Dragonflies" more assessable for all. Although I rarely discount or offer specials on my art, now feels like the time! I will be offering a special on prints of this painting in hopes to share these sparks of hope and comfort with more people, especially those whose holiday celebrations will be flipped upside-down this year.  I'm even thinking of offering to customize the canvas prints with a loved one's name in them, for yourself or to give as a gift. Once I have a few details figured out, I'll be sending out another email coming soon with more details.

With love and light, and some giant virtual hugs to all who are wearing the many layers of grief,


PSNow feels like the perfect time to explain a few details in this painting, as well as reveal the hidden dragonfly. See descriptions below!

1. The Stars from Peter Pan


In the movie Peter Pan, Peter tells Wendy the way to Neverland is,

     "Second star to the right, and straight on till morning."
     "Well, how do you get to Neverland?" asks Wendy.
     "Fly, of course", says Peter. 💛

Although a beautiful fairy tale, my heart believes that there truly is a Neverland, and all of our loved ones have wings to get there. ❤️
2. The Dragonflies
Within this painting there are 11 dragonflies. To capture the energy of Ben, the nine year old, fully energized boy who passed ever too soon, I wanted to paint the dragonflies so they looked as though they were playing! The two in this zoomed in area are chasing each other. 😊 While painting them, it's as though I could hear them laughing. I can truly imagine all of our loved ones who have passed on, to be magically playing with full exuberance!!
3. The Hidden Dragonfly
I can still remember the day I was painting this project, when all of a sudden I saw the sunrise, reflections, and horizon line become a dragonfly itself! I did not paint this intentionally, it was truly an eureka moment! I stood in front of the canvas with my jaw dropped, in amazement, but also with thoughts of "well, of course another completely magical experience would be happening!" I wasn't surprised, as there were so many other mysterious and beautiful things that happened throughout the creation of this painting. While I stood and stared at this giant beauty, I saw that the sun itself was the dragonfly head, the horizon line became the first set of wings, and then I saw the ever so perfectly spaced reflections that became the dragonfly tail. I debated if I was going to add additional reflections for the second set of wings, but deliberately decided to leave room for one's imagination.

The symbolism here still astonishes me! You see, a dragonfly starts out as a nymph that lives in water. Once ready for metamorphosis, the nymph emerges from the water, sheds it's skin, and transforms into a beautiful dragonfly with translucent wings! (If you need a scientific explanation, Wikipedia is great at detailing the cycles of the dragonfly) :) After I discovered this hidden emerging dragonfly, I couldn't see it any other way.  As I stared at the bright light rising up, I felt the symbolism of our own transformations - as we exit this space (this earthly realm), and rise to a whole new dimension.