Flying Girl and the Flowers Inside, or Downpour, 10/6/2008
6x6 Gallery Canvas, Golden Liquid Acrylic, Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils
This painting is a bit of a departure for me, and as such, was kind of difficult. The first departure is that I did it on canvas, and I did it in a different proportion. The second departure is all the pattern!
This is actually an idea I've been playing around with for quite some time, months even. The concept came to me out of the blue, that even in the stormy weather, when things are tough, we can carry our flowers and sunshine inside of us. This is what I aim for, I suppose, that sort of peace that continues even when we are struggling and the world all around us seems to be chaos.
I think I finally committed to trying one of the canvasses I bought because of this image. I'd been trying to draw it in my journal, but the proportions were wrong, I think because the umbrella added height to the picture. Maybe I could have figured it out, I suppose I could just have made her smaller, but with all the detail, it might have been even tougher than it was.
In the end, I am satisfied, but oh, what a journey. She used to be pink, you know. If I hadn't been hounded by yelling preschoolers and whining toddlers this morning, I might have shot a picture of her original incarnation. Oh, who am I kidding, it wasn't the kids that stopped me, it's because the storm was raging inside of me and I was unable to keep it out. The flowers were not growing.
But, the kids had a picnic in the back yard and went to bed, and I had some time to paint and clean up a little and shower and dress up. I have decided that it is time to let go of the yoga pants and tank tops and remember my style. It makes me feel good. I suppose it's a way to get the flowers back, a way to keep equilibrium and calm. To ground.
And I fixed the painting. Once I painted over the pink, which had already painted over a messy pink and red flowered pattern that I had decided was too busy and clashed too much with the gray and purple striped background, I felt better. Pale yellow was cheerier than pink. I painted in some green leaves and some larger white flowers and was a little discombobulated. It never came out the way I wanted it, each time I've tried this concept, but I had to keep going, because this is canvas, dammit, canvas. I put some yellow centers in the flower, to bring back the yellow background, then I came upon the idea of adding smaller dots of white flowers and it all just fell in to place. Why? I don't know. Probably the contrast of small pattern with the larger pattern of the stripes. Just like with clothes, you don't want the mix competing. Once I figured out the flowers, all I had to do was outline in green, and the FG no longer seemed so amorphous. Phew. If it was hard to read about, it was harder to do.
The skyline was the last thing. I particularly like the tree and how it wraps around the bottom of the canvas.
I had a problem when it came time for posting the Big Draw, because it turns out I forgot to specifically draw for it... but I did draw something that I am not ready to show, because it's kind of a secret right now. So I have a drawing, but it's unpostable, so I'm going to cheat and post something I drew a few weeks ago. Lizabeth of motherhoodrevolution is the one who pointed me toward this. It's a sketch of a photograph taken maybe a hundred years ago that my paintings brought to mind. When I looked it up, just had to sketch it. So I did.
Sketch of Incantation, b&w photo by Anne W Brigman (Amer 1869-1950) You can find it at metmuseum.org [edited to fix the broken link, I hope.]