Flying Girl Receives Assistance on the Long Journey, or Elephant Spirit
White Gel Pen, Golden Fluid Acrylic, Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils.
This painting is about all the helpful spirits we encounter on our journey to ourselves. There really is no reason to do it alone. Help comes from everywhere if you are looking for it and allowing yourself to receive it.
It might come from the inside, your own ancient wisdom, that you so frequently ignore. It might come from words that you read, here or there, and that give you that frisson of understanding, connection. It might come from those real live people around you, the ones who give you a hug when you need it, or a home, or take the kids so you can do your work. It might be a question placed before you, which, when you search for the answer, gives you the key to your path. It might be someone's painting, or challenge, or prompt, that allows the soul to come out and see the light, see that the path is still there, and you are moving forward, and in the right direction.
I don't really want to explain the meaning behind this painting anymore than that, because, well, there's so much in it, I don't really know where to start, and I'd like you to take your own meaning from it.(detail) Flying Girl Receives Assistance on the Long Journey, or Elephant Spirit
But I will explain how I did it. Because I had fun.
It started with a blue watercolor pencil, as I sketched in the elephant. I didn't have a photo or a model, and relied upon my memory. I kind of think I did a good job. I like my elephant, even if the details aren't there. She's more the idea of an elephant anyway. I sketched her, and FG, and added swirls to her. I've been enjoying letting my sketch show through, so my choice of paint depended on how it would interact with the blue. I did the blue and cream the day before and was getting tired of that, so I picked purple, since it was transparent and I hadn't used it in a while. And then I thought I'd try some pale yellow to contrast the purple, and then thought, hey, why not try that old Quinadcridone gold in my bag that is always too bright for my needs. So I did, and while I enjoyed leaving the painterly brush marks, the contrast was too jarring, so, you know what I did? Tried to fix it with white, but that just, yuck, so... I glazed over all of it with the quinadcridone gold, purple, yellow, gold, white. And it all just mellowed out into a nice orange. I really like this orange. The heat of it, the depth of it. The brown/yellow that happened when it went over the purple. Surprising and satisfying. Ah, adventure.
Then I put it away and this morning, looked at it.
I still liked it, liked the overall orangeness. Like that I could still see the spirals of the blue sketch underneath and the layers of color and the brushmarks, but I could tell that it needed definition. How to get it?
As I sorted through the options in my mind, I knew I didn't want to cover the elephant or take away from the feel of her. I knew I wanted her to stand out, too. I thought about adding words, and then I decided the white gel pen was the best way to go. I never got around to adding words, as the patterns... the swirls echoing the elephant spirals, and the dots that remind me of aboriginal paintings, which I've always loved, they all took over. Now I love it.
The detail above is my favorite part. I like the water and the way it interacts with the spiral pattern and the dot pattern of the sand, and the shape the elephant's upturned (for luck) trunk makes.
This painting was created out of gathered inspiration, a growing love for elephants, experimentation and play.
I want to do more like that.