This was such a fun piece to do. It was an attempt at a somewhat aerial perspective, so setting up the still life was really fun. It's like being in an airplane and configuring the landscape down below. Remember making dioramas and model projects in school? Those were my favorites, and also illustrating report covers, I loved it when that was part of the grade..hooray!
After finding a good composition and photographing to get ideas, I made my sketch and put down the first transparent layers. I'm thinking more shapes of color these days, rather than attempting to illustrate a scene. In my paintings, you won't be able to necessarily identify all edges. I am enjoying the exercise of using color and shapes relating to each other to create a mood and evoke emotions.
I didn't have a title for the piece until the very end. Sometimes I'll go online and research the symbolism of the objects in the piece to get ideas for a title. But of primary concern is that the title must reflect the emotions of the painting. In this case, I realized I had been listening to a CD of music by Debussy the whole time, and "Clair De Lune" is one of my favorites. It creates a wonderful environment for getting lost in the creation of a painting. The melody of that song is so peaceful and romantic, it seemed to fit.
It might be fun to share some of the stories behind my current work. Openings are a great opportunity to see friends, and meet new ones, but because it’s a one-time event, many of my friends can’t make it. So to start off, I’d like to share with you the story behind “Braver Than You Believe,” a painting which is currently showing at Scott Milo Gallery in Anacortes, WA.
Sometimes a painting begins with a visual…it might something that catches my eye in daily life, or something online that is not necessarily art-related, such as an image from a knitting or travel blog. Don’t you love those well-designed blogs with beautiful photography of inspiring scenery, lovely still life images, or even a nicely decorated room? Sometimes it starts with an idea, or a prayer or a hope. Sometimes it begins with art in another form. A poem or story. Such is the case with “Braver Than You Believe.” I feel This piece stands out from the rest of my current work because of the bright red amaryllis. I don’t typically include pure bright reds. But the Amaryllis bulb planted at Christmas time was in full bloom, so elegant, it demanded to be painted. I went ahead and set it up in front of the window and did a few sketches, and snapped a few photos. I use both sketching and photos in my beginning process. It’s fun to use these different methods in getting to know a new subject.
My online reading list includes Brainy Quote, with it’s quotes of the day, and they usually highlight quotes from a famous person whose birthday happens to be on that day. Well, that day’s birthday list included A.A. Milne, author of the Winnie The Pooh books, a favorite from childhood and from reading stories to my own kids when they were little. Reading through some of the quotes from his books of course brought to mind the Disney versions of these characters and scenes from those movies. Remember when Christopher Robin tells Pooh-Bear