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The Art of Summer-loving

By Emma Sims

The dog days are barking loud down here in Florida! It rains almost every afternoon around 4 p.m., which makes the roads steam like a hot skillet in sink water. The air is humid enough to leave me stumbling with fogged sunglasses every time I get out of my desperately air-conditioned car. How the generations of kin before me navigated this hellish heat, I will never understand. But there’s no doubt, Summer is officially here!

This season brings such warmth to life— literally, but also creatively. Our days are the longest they’ll be all year. Along with the highest temperatures, we get the most sunshine, growth, and inspiration.

Summertime is a great opportunity for sunshine-inspired paintings. The vibrant hues of all the flowers in bloom, the sparkly glitter of water, the truly unbelievable sunsets that we’re blessed to behold– it’s all just free inspiration to feed our creative appetites.

I’ve compiled a collection of portraits that I feel embody the inspiration of Summer. Each one is painted by a Cecilia Beaux Forum member— each artist is an observant and artistic woman who brought the rays of Summer-loving to us with their paint. Enjoy these lovely paintings with the beauty of Summer in mind.

Katherine Galbraith’s painting “Morning at the Beach” makes me feel like I should put on sunscreen! The subject basking in the full sun with her sunglasses and shiny legs is such a familiar Summertime scene. Galbraith harnessed the sun in this painting, and the result is a sun-and-sand scene of fond, warm memories.

In the same ray of sunshine, lives her painting “At the Lake, or The Yellow Raft.” A lakeside blonde catching some Vitamin D on the dock with a good book. She’s facing the bright sun, and her skin glistens with sweat, sunscreen, water, or all of the above.

Johanna Harmon’s painting “Saunter” feels hot like the 95 degree air outside my window. The warm undertones and red-hot accents give the entire painting a feeling of heat, which is embellished by the sunny flowers in her hair and bright white blouse. The subject’s tan skin might suggest she’s been outside experiencing the hot hot heat for a while.

Grace Devito’s painting, “Nicole and Pumpkin” is a delightful breath of late afternoon Summer air. The low sun, peeking only through a few trees, and Pumpkin’s panting smile, makes me feel like the two just enjoyed a hot afternoon of outside playtime and are recuperating together in the shade. Nicole’s rosey cheeks and pink lips are an all-too-familiar Summertime look.

Alexandra Tyng depicted a different time in our dog days– when the sun sleeps. Her painting “Event Horizon” gives us a snapshot of a nighttime scene that feels like an after-dinner family star-gazing session. Looking up at the countless stars from a waterfront lawn, each figure is engaged– the young woman uses a phone app to find constellations, while her father prefers the technologically traditional telescope. Mom and Grandma point to the sky, involved in the group space exploration. This painting doesn’t feel hot (phew!), but it sure feels like fun; the kind of fun families have in Summer.


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