A Secret Message for Sailors!

From my family to yours, Happy Easter!  We’re not even going to talk about the fact that it’s freezing outside. It’s almost like Mother Nature is saying, “Ha ha! April Fools!”  Regardless of the weather, we’re looking forward to a beautiful Easter weekend as we reflect and enjoy.

This last week was filled with delightful days of painting the Ship Hotel. I think the sky in this piece may be my most exciting one ever! I was tickled pink as I applied each layer, running up and down the steps to my studio between sessions, as my inner art critic screamed “I love this!” and “I’m actually getting the look I want!” You might think that I should know it all by now, and that nothing would surprise me about painting after all these years. But I feel as if I’m always discovering more with each new project. To me, learning new things is an essential part of life’s journey.

Speaking of learning… I learned about something very cool this week! As I’ve shared with you in these last few weeks, I’ve had to put a lot of “puzzle pieces” together for this painting, and this week was no exception. As I was looking at old photos, I noticed that some showed nautical flags running from flagpole to flagpole above the ship-shaped hotel, though I couldn’t make them out. I also realized that there were other photos that didn’t seem to show the nautical flags at all.

Having been a sailor in my younger days, I thought it would be cool to use those nautical flags in the painting. But was there a special meaning to the flags and their order? Who better to ask than my oldest and dearest friends… who just happen to live on their sailboat full time and have for nearly a decade?

I knew the flags meant something, which I may have known in my previous life but had totally forgotten since then. Were they displayed in a particular order to convey a message? Or were they just randomly hung up there for fun? I learned that each flag pattern represents a letter of the alphabet. As we brainstormed on the subject (always one of my favorite parts of creating), Ron came up with the idea of spelling out THE SHIP HOTEL! So, as you can see below, he put together the sequence of flags to spell out the hotel’s name.

I painted them hanging straight at first, and then I bent them as if they were flying in the wind. I absolutely love that I could use the flags to send a secret message – just one more piece that will make up the story behind this painting.

Next up, I’ll be working on the top decks and the front of the hotel… so stay tuned for more!

Have a beautiful weekend, and I’ll update you again next week!

P.S. – Don’t forget to browse my website if you’re looking for a special gift or a memory to share.