Thursday, September 18, 2008

Flying Girl Follows Her Heart

I have a new painting, or rather, two versions of a new painting. This one is called "Flying Girl Follows Her Heart."

I like it. I like the title, the theme. I don't know if I have the final version. I think I might have to paint it a couple of times to get it right. Or maybe I just have to go over it and fix the smudgy lines. This painting isn't really as out of focus as it seems. I have just gone over the outlines so many times in so many colors that the edges are all fuzzy. Red, pink, ochre, yellow, white, orange, naples yellow, gold.

Yes it's all those new colors I have been using. Well, the red is an addition. I had forgotten how strong red can be. How it takes over whatever you add it to, and you need to add red sparingly, drop by drop.

This painting came to me in the tossings and turnings of insomnia. It just popped right up in my minds eye, and I leaned over the edge of the bed to grab my journal from its resting spot on the floor and sketched it out in the middle of the night. The next day I painted it. But I didn't paint the picture at the top. I painted the one at the bottom.
And again, it took me so many layers to get some colors that I was semi satisfied with. But it turned out, upon reflection, I was only semi satisfied. It was too pink, too bright, too brash. Sometimes that can be good, I guess, but not for me, not right now. I have been leaning towards a limited color palette, and this one... it just didn't feel right. Even though when I showed it to my kids, they both loved it and started grinning. G even told me he did not want me to paint the pink sky white. I think he likes the brights.

As he should. He's a kid. What's not to love about bright colors and smiley skies?

I like the adventure of the painting. I like the process. It is about the end painting, in a way. It's about making something that you keep turning to look at again (I do keep turning back to Strange Land, Yellow Skies, which may be why I wanted a more yellowy, milky sky for this one.) But it is also about how you get to that end painting and about where you go from that end painting, what inspiration you get from it, what new step in the journey you set out on.

I suppose these Flying Girl paintings are pretty autobiographical. They are my journey. In some ways they are very literal, and sometimes metaphorical. I like the narrative element of that. I like the randomness of it, too. There's no telling what story will pop up next in Flying Girl's life.

It's kind of exciting to see it all happening. Wait... you mean I'm not in charge?


Karen Mowrey said...

This great painting, previous ones and what you have surmised with the autobiography would make a brillant wordless book. Have you ever seen any, of course you have...dumb question. Let the reader, young or old tell the story! You convey great messages!

Jules said...

Nice blog, and I really like your flying girl paintings... random but at the same time very thought provoking. Keep up the good work.

Erica said...

your paintings of flying girl always stay with me for a long time. Truly beautiful.

I actually just finished a painting semi-inspired by flying girl - it ended up going in a completely different direction aesthetically and doesn't have much to do with your flying girl, except that my girl/fairy/sorceress is flying. Do you mind if I post it, with a link to your blog? No one much reads mine, I'm just new at this whole thing and am unsure about bloggy etiquette.

D'Arcy said...

so many of us can identify with a flying soul, a spirit. I've been teaching Katherine Mansfield this week, her short story called The Stranger, about a wife in the Victorian Era just learning to break out of her cage. the work is full of the husband constantly reaching for the wife, holding her, wanting her near, and she always trying to fly away, he compares her to a that he wants to keep caged to keep his life the way he wants it....but oh, she breaks out...ever so subtlely does she break out.

I love it, thank you.

Natasha said...

Look at you! You know not that long ago you would have railed against the idea of being out of control and now you are embracing the idea, even finding humor. Rowena...that has to be the hardest thing for anyone to do, including me, but you are doing it. Kudos girlfriend. Once again you inspire me. And this's richness of color is fabulous. I am truly in love with this fact I'm going back to look at it again. Amazing work!

Anonymous said...

I adore flying girl wherever she goes.

Shelly Lowenkopf said...

Shelly hearts the top image.
Love your question about who's in charge, which very question can serve as a mantra for may of us.

Shelly Lowenkopf said...


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