Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spirit of Summer's End

Turtle Spirit by Gayle Pritchard
A Commissioned Quilt for a Wedding
Today is my sister's birthday, which means August is right around the corner, which means, in my mind, that summer's end is beginning. Have you noticed that the days are becoming gradually shorter, that the flowers in bloom have changed, that the gardening season is slowly winding down? For me, this is the spirit of summer's end.

As summer winds down, the still-flickering childhood memories of relishing the remaining month of summer, and of preparing for going back to school in the fall remain impressed in my psyche. While I strive to live "in the moment" each day, the busyness of fall looms, as the events and deadlines on my ever-present calendar remind me to get ready.

I am working on a new piece, a companion piece to the one shown here, Turtle Spirit. The artwork at left was commissioned for a couple's wedding, and I have always loved it. The companion piece will be larger, but still focused on the turtle in the central panel.

Turtle,  a native american animal symbol
is the central focus of the piece.
In Native American symbolism, which is where this turtle symbol comes from, turtle is sacred, and contains fetish properties. Among other things, turtle is a symbol for fertility, truth, and long life. It seemed the perfect wish for a couple entering into a marriage.

Meanwhile, I have been invited to create some new work for a wearable art exhibition at the Valley Art Center. Art Strikes a Pose opens September 10 and runs through October 13, 2011.

Turtle Spirit II by Gayle Pritchard, in progress:


  1. Yikes Gayle, the tomatoes haven't ripened yet! But we have bumper crop of cabbage, peppers, summer squash, cucumbers and zucchini going. And I am on the lookout for peaches. Peach jam anyone?

  2. Well, glad your garden is still going. I don't have enough sunlight for veggies! Love peach jam, but what about pie???

  3. What an amazing wedding gift!

    My grandmother passed along a turtle tradition to me at the very end of her life and ever since then they have been very special visitors and reminders in my life. She opened a box of turtle chocolate candies and inducted me into her turtle club. She said it's important to know how to let things slide off your back. And that it's ok to go slow and steady through life.

    One of my favorite experiences was swimming with turtles in Maui.

  4. Thanks, Kimmie. It was a fun commission, using symbols, imagery and colors with the client's input for the intended couple.
    That is such a cool story about your grandmother, not to mention making my mouth water for turtle candies. Love those! I love the "let it slide off your back" imagery. Also cool that you swam with the turtles. I've heard of swimming with dolphins, but turtles? Very fun.