In the Pink, A Sign of Happiness?


Flying off to London is a tiring flight if you don’t have something to keep both your mind and body busy. I am not one for sitting still.


I always have my iPad along, and on this trans-Atlantic flight I also had WIFI available. Browsing the internet gets boring rather quickly since I get motion sickness and can’t read while moving. The movies offered on flight where not enticing either. So instead, I decided to paint on the iPad.

Little did I know, but I quickly got an audience. One of the flight attendants went and gathered up the rest to convene around my seat to watch me paint. They all were rather astonished it could be done on an iPad.

While this is not ideal for me, I was gracious in allowing them to observe. It is hard to concentrate and keep my mind free of distraction and interruption in a crowd. On a plane late at night, one can tune out distractions when most passengers are asleep. I had the base drawings done before my trip, so all I needed was to add the paint to each drawing. You can see the drawing lines in the paintings.

The flight attendants asked if it was my profession. I said at one time my paintings were in a local gallery for sale, but I went on to become an architect, since dropping my hobby for many years. We discussed going to Europe for the art, museums and architecture, and how I was headed to the National Gallery in London to see Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.

One flight attendant asked if I was planning to visit Amsterdam to see the Van Gogh Museum and I mentioned I was there last November. Did I see Sunflowers there? I saw a small drawing to my disappointment , but did not see any of the more identifiable series Sunflowers. Van Gogh did them in Arles, in the south of France, between 1888 and 1889, painting a total of five large canvases.

While at European museums, easels were set up for a few selected artists. They were painting from the Master works on the wall and I have to admit, some copied faithfully, but others did a “better” job. Of course, just my opinion, but I do like the more contemporary flair to the new paintings.


This painting is the one that is most often reproduced on cards, posters, mugs, tea-towels and stationery. It was also the one that Van Gogh was most proud. The image above is the actual painting hanging in the National Gallery of London. The Sunflower series was painted during a period of good cheer and hopefulness, as the Master awaited the arrival of his hero, Paul Gauguin.

While I appreciate Gauguin and saw quite a few of his works, I am far more drawn to Degas and Van Gogh. The first two ballerinas images are my interpretation of Degas’ paintings that I did on the flights to London and from Scotland. I never did paint Sunflowers, but have photographed quite a few like you saw in the previous post, Living in Happiness. Sunflowers are a symbol of good luck and happiness. Van Gogh and Degas are two artists I love to emulate, and would have loved to share studio space with them.

While my two paintings are done in pink excess, pink is a color of happiness, creativity, determination, romance, and love of life. In the psychology of color, pink calms to reassure our emotions, and short-term exposure dispels feelings of anger and aggression. It also symbolizes good health if you are lucky enough to have good health. It really is an all-round, feel-good color.

Since the psychology of color plays into our appreciation of life, I suppose subconsciously how we paint might be an indication of our peace of mind. While not happy in the joyful, gleeful and tickled pink kind of way, painting with pink might symbolize a relaxed untroubled, carefree and unhurried turn of mind. Who knows?

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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25 Responses to In the Pink, A Sign of Happiness?

  1. Well, my dear Donna, it certainly is a sign of happiness for me seeing your beautiful work …always! 🙂

  2. So much talent. Thanks for sharing and safe returns from the UK.

  3. It sounds like you were a wonderful distraction for the other folks on the plane. You should have put out a tip jar!

  4. You are so very talented, Donna. What a wonderful way for you and the flight attendants to pass the time. I usually just sleep. P. x

  5. swo8 says:

    What app were you using, Donna, for your drawings? They are lovely.

  6. Alesia says:

    As always a master at all you do my friend

  7. You are very talented. I love Degas, Van Gogh and Monet. I have taken up painting but am still very stuck on my photography when it comes to painting. So I am working on being more relaxed about it. Again your work is amazing and I am not surprised that you had a gathering around you.

    • Thank you. I too like Monet’s work. I like his use of color. The more you paint, the more you will grow comfortable. I vacillate back and forth between photography and painting. I am going to PA in a few weeks and will be visiting the Conowingo Dam for photographing eagles. I hope the day I planned on that visit will good for photos.

  8. debsgarden says:

    Hi Donna, I so admire your talent and creativity, which shines in multiple areas of your life. I understand why those flight attendants were fascinated. No doubt you made a boring flight quite beautiful for them.

  9. I thought you had been in the UK.mwill catch up on that soon. Sorry! Always seem to miss those connections, we were back in the Azores and now travelling back to our Spanish woodland home.i love your skill with the iPad. I would love to learn more but keep the drawing at bay until I’ve finished the novel! Although it needs some illustrations of key animals. Perhaps photoshop would help me? Lovely pinks though. To get such colour too. Enjoy being home and look forward to more about your travels. I listen to audible on the plane from my iPad ! David Attenboroughs voice this time and his early memoirs of Komodo dragons!

    • Thank you. The Azores would be an amazing place to visit, as would where you live in Spain. I did not realize Spain had so many beautiful locations until I saw online the filming sites for Game of Thrones. Spectacular countryside and amazing old structures. A novel? How fascinating you are writing and illustrating. I wish you much success in your endeavors. If you can learn to illustrate on the computer, it will be a much faster way of drawing,

  10. Donna you never fail to amaze me, Van Gogh’s Arles time period is my favorite. I have been fortunate to see some of his work in Paris and a bit more in Berlin.

  11. I love your paintings – they have a delicate softness to them. I enjoy painting on my pad but it really is a case of learning how to paint all over again and find what works for you. Enjoyed this post very much.

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