This week’s prompt over at Illustration Friday is ‘Hair’. This is the perfect opportunity to show you two of my newest paintings! Both of these paintings include figures with long, flowing hair – at least, that’s what I see!
As I explained on a previous blog post, I’ve been experimenting with a new abstract painting technique. I start with an image that is purely abstract – I work wet-on-wet on the paper, use lots of paint and water and allow the paint to ‘flow’ in the direction it wants to go (sometimes I help it along). I add textural elements such as gauze, and then I allow the first layer to dry. After it has dried, I start adding more layers, and then an image begins to form – almost like a Rorschach test! As the image begins to form, I help it along by adding in details with a fine brush. In the end, I find the painting isn’t so abstract anymore.
In this first painting, I saw a female figure, floating on her back in the water. I imagined her as some kind of sea goddess, and gave her long, flowing hair. My 3-year-old son still says it looks like a jellyfish though, and points out the ‘tentacles’! I like that about abstract art – people can see in it what they want to. We all bring something of ourselves to the art we view.
In the second image, I also saw figures in the water. This time, I saw two figures and imagined them having tails – so they became mermaids. I added some scales, and like the sea goddess, long flowing hair.
What do you see in the images? Do you see the figures that I see? Do you see a jellyfish like my son does, or do you see something else?
This week’s topic over at Illustration Friday is ‘love’. I haven’t participated in one of these prompts in a really long time – I think the last one was back in January 2011 (and ironically, that post is all about how my new year’s resolution was to participate in prompts more often. Whoops.) I decided to participate this week because the topic is one that really suits my painting style.
One of my favourite things to do is represent people as trees, showing the relationships between the people using colour, size, spacing and other elements.
In one of my most recent paintings, I used two trees to represent the love of a couple. I represented the theme of ‘love’ in a variety of ways. Firstly, the trees themselves are shaped like hearts. You will also notice many hearts in the swirls of the leaves if you look closely. I painted the trees very close together, overlapping. I also deliberately allowed the paint to run and mix at the point where the trees touched – I wanted to convey the way that in a close relationship, people become part of one another. I used the a mix of the red and blue in the colours of the sky to also show this connection.
It’s fitting that the topic over at Illustration Friday this week is “Resolutions”, because one of my goals for this new year is to participate in prompts like this as often as possible.
To illustrate this topic, I’ve chosen to do a ‘zentangle’. I found out about zentangling a while back through DUST (my fellow Aussie Etsy sellers), and have wanted to try it ever since. Especially since I realised I’d been doing this kind of artwork years before it was ever given a name – for example this artwork was completed when I was at uni, more years ago than I’d like to admit.
This fits in to the “resolutions” theme because it’s the first painting I’ve done in a long time that’s for me – and it was one of my goals for 2011 to have a go at some of the ideas that have been rattling around in my brain for the past few months.
I’ve called in ‘tangled’:
My plan was to add colour to this when it was finished, but after painting the background blue I decided I liked it the way it was with the patterns black and white. I’m still interested in trying one with colour though. What do you think?
I slacked off last week and didn’t post anything for the “dessert” topic, but I’ve definitely made up for it this week! (Actually I did create something for the dessert theme but wasn’t happy with it so didn’t post it.)
I went a little nuts with this theme, and created not one but 5 paintings! I’m thinking of doing a few more and making a calendar of proverb paintings. What do you think?
I hand-wrote the proverbs onto the paintings after the paint had dried, using black ink and a calligraphy pen – one of the old fashioned ones that you dip in the ink. I was very relieved not to have any major ink-blot mishaps on the paintings (although I got lots of ink on my fingers)!
This week’s topic over at Illustration Friday is Immovable. The first idea that came to me was stone – but then I got to thinking that even stone isn’t really immovable. Sure, it might take a long time but even stone is worn away by weathering and water. So that was my inspiration for this painting – stone being worn down by water:
Please forgive the horrible photo – I took it at night without flash so it’s pretty grainy. I’ll try to upload a better version when I get time to take a good daylight photo – but that probably won’t be till the weekend and I didn’t want to miss out on Illustration Friday!
One of my favourite books of all time is First Light by Richard Preston, which is about the Hale Telescope (and is a fascinating read for anyone interested in astronomy). One of the passages that stuck with me was this:
“There is a saying among those who polish astronomical mirrors for a living that an optician never finishes a mirror – you take it away from him.”
I think that pretty much sums up how a painting like this is for me – I can’t guarantee the picture above is the final version because every time I walk past it I think about adding another brush stroke here or there, another layer or another detail.
I managed to remember to take pictures as I went for this one – here’s how it looked as it progressed:
Here’s my submission for this week’s Illustration Friday topic, ‘Atmosphere’. For once I’ve taken the topic very literally, and I’ve painted a picture of the Earth’s atmosphere:
The weekend just past was super-busy for me. I had a stall at The Handmade Expo, which was great fun as always. We had a great turn out this month with people out and about voting. A big thank you to all those who stopped by my little stall! After the Expo we visited family and then the next day attended a birthday party.
With a weekend like that, I was very pleased to be able to get a few evenings to myself to get some painting done! Of course, sleep is overrated 🙂
I was delighted to discover that this week’s challenge over at Illustration Friday is “Star Gazing”. I was recently requested to paint something similar to my “When it is Dark Enough” painting, and was part way through it when I found out about this topic.
Here’s the finished product – I’ve titled it “The Stargazers”: