Flying Girl and the Big Wave, or Tsunami 10/8/08
Golden Liquid Acrylics, Prismacolor Watercolor Pencil
Unlike the night before, where I had no ideas for a painting but jumped anyway, last night, I was flooded with ideas. I had no less than THREE sketches before I sat down with my paint.
Which to choose? The more challenging one, with more details, and a newer style, which was, however, slightly undefined? This one, with the wave, that was slightly scary? Or the final one, a simple idea based on some newspaper clippings with an idea I had been thinking about for days?
In the end, I went with the one that gave me that squoonch in my stomach. I happen to be afraid of tsunamis. Even large surf at a beach makes me dizzy. And yet, I've had the metaphor of "riding the wave" for many months to help me through all sorts of struggles and triumphs.
This was a pretty easy painting. I did an underdrawing with the watercolor pencils, and it led me to the blue sky. I wanted the green water, but I actually had a lighter color in mind that I just didn't have anymore. (Have to put in an order to Dick Blick.) So I treated the acrylic more like watercolor, with a thin wash over green watercolor pencil. I am okay with the effect, although it wasn't really what I was going for. It is interesting enough.
I did struggle with the land image for a while, originally drawing in a boat without land. But before I painted it, I switched to a little house. Perhaps I was influenced by the previous houses I'd drawn. Perhaps by this house,
that I created yesterday on a whim from a Cheerios box. Which was a prompt for Inspire Me Thursday. The paperbag tree was inspired by maya*made's mushrooms. I just thought I needed a tree more than a mushroom for my little diorama. And I get a kick out of the bookshelf setting. Sorry about the dark picture. It was late when I took it and I hate flash. Back to the story.
I'm not sure what made me switch from the boat to the house, but I liked the switch. Maybe it is my fear of tsunamis that makes me feel a little house on the coast is vulnerable. It doesn't even have to be a tsunami, just a big storm. My friend used to have a little beach cottage in Montauk, Long Island and I was always terrified that the dune would wash away and the house would fall into the sea. It wasn't even my house.
I like to think of Flying Girl as protective in this picture. As warrior-like. In fact, for much of the painting, she wielded a sword, first fire white, then fire red. But neither seemed right for the composition. And I had an issue with the silliness of trying to keep a wave back with a sword. That doesn't even work metaphorically.
So I painted the sword out, and had to let her stand (or fly) the way she was. Then I was done with my painting, and it was still early, and I still had syndicated sitcoms to watch, so I turned the page to my next Flying Girl idea, still knowing that I needed to do my Big Draw drawing.
I kept the green, because, hey, it was underwater. Painted everything flat colors and then.... wanted more. So I took out my artist pens and drew on it. I drew all over it, although remembering my lessons from my previous two paintings, I wanted to stay away from too much pattern so I left the water flat. Then I realized that this Flying Girl was indeed my Big Draw entry. Because it's all drawn, except for the background color, and that's allowed.
Flying Girl Follows Her Teachers, or Fish
The Big Draw #8
Golden Liquid Acrylic, Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens, Y&C Gel Xtreme Pens.
Then I took out my white gel pen. I love those things, and that added even more texture to the detail in the fish and the coral and the seaweed. In fact, it made them come to life. I added in a few bubbles and some rocks (at the far bottom, that's not a smudge) and voila, done.
Then I looked back at my paintings and I saw that it was indeed, again, like two panels of a story. Here is the wave, threatening. Then apparently, FG has been overwhelmed and drawn below the waves...
But she is not drowning. She is there to learn from the fish.
Here is a lesson: Find the lesson, even in disaster. Learn. Discover. Grow. Become strong.
I wonder where she is going next? Is she still on a water adventure, as she has been for the last few days? Will she step on land? Find fire? Fly in the air once again. I'm seeing an elemental theme here.
You'd think I'd be in control, but it's a mystery to me.