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.
This week’s topic over at Illustration Friday is “Subterranean”. My immediate thought was of layers of rock under the ground. This was my inspiration for this litte abstract watercolour, which I’m (not surprisingly) calling “Subterranean”.
It’s been a while since I’ve participated in Illustration Friday – I tend to wait until a topic really grabs me.
Last September I spent a lot of my holiday sitting outside in our patio, reading and drinking cups of tea. It was so lovely and peaceful, that I often stopped reading and just sat and took in the scenery of my little garden. In one of our trees, a baby bird was learning to fly. It was amazing to just quietly sit and watch as he (or she?) spread his wings for the first time.
When I saw this week’s topic from Illustration Friday was “brave”, that little baby bird was the first thing I thought of, and was the inspiration for this painting:
I’ve posted a step-by-step about how I created this painting – check it out here.