Monday, June 08, 2009

Flying Girl Growing in the Shade or Under Glass

Flying Girl Growing in the Shade or Under Glass
008/100 in 100 days Challenge 06/08/09
Golden Acrylics on paper, 5x8"

This is not what she looked like in my sketch. In the sketch, I imagined FG inside of a terrarium. But when it came time to paint, I did not want anything that complicated or elaborate. So I just painted her with the fern background and thought maybe a mushroom pattern on the dress... but when I got ready to paint, the green brown of the background put me in mind of moss, and I wanted moss in there. And then I thought, why no! Flying Girl IS the terrarium, the enclosed ecosystem that lets the mushrooms and moss grow.

So here's what ended up being. I like it.

I didn't like it to start. It just seemed ugly and clunky with the dingy brown/green and the not quite light blue.

But what I am finding as I continue on in this 100 in 100 challenge, is that I don't need to consider each painting to be precious and fragile. There is not so much weight to each painting if I am painting every day. If I mess up a painting, so what? I just move on to the next one and see what happens.

This is the way breakthroughs occur, I think. For me at least... when I've screwed something up and don't have anything to lose, when I trust that something good will come, if not this time, then next, when I try something risky no matter how I am afraid of failure.

Maybe also Wreck This Journal might help me continue this risk taking. I'm doing it with the Next Chapter book club

I've been futzing around with the book here and there, and this is the first page where I've gone bacack and tried to "do" something with the futzing. My coffee spilled... always a danger when you have toddlers/preschoolers jumping around you and your tv table "desk." So when the kids jostled the table, I set the cup down into the spill, and then made coffee rings on the page. Then when it happened again the next day, I used my paintbrush... which was out from a painting session... and painted the words into the coffee rings.

Yesterday, I outlined it all. Don't know why I did. I guess I liked the patterns that came out in the rings and wanted to hi-light it.
I like the way it looks here. And I like how the coffee spills almost remind me of a big old live oak tree, rich with shadows and light and hanging spanish moss and vines.

I wonder if I can work that idea into my 100 days paintings? Hmmm. I also like the neutral colors of tan and cream and the black pen. Hmmm. Or what about the shape of shadowy leaves against the bright sky? Hmmm.

Stay tuned.

Oh, and I finally got the side bar of 100 in 100 participants up. If you don't want your name up there, tell me. I thought I'd removed someone already, but I see it's still there. I must not have saved it. Or if you're not up there and want to be, tell me. I had a hard time with knowing whether or not people really wanted to jump in, or which blog they wanted.

Or if you're afraid to start, or want to but are worried that you can't join because you haven't been there from the beginning... please, join anyway. There is no one who is going to harangue you for not creating. There is no way to "fail" this challenge. Jump in. Adapt it to your needs.
Be brave.

Let me tell you... it gets easier the more you do it.


Amanda Fall - PersistentGreen said...

Loved this post. I'm so with you on the breakthroughs--this challenge has been very helpful in freeing me up from being so dang CAREFUL in my work. Sometimes that means the "oopses" will be bigger. Other times, that element of risk leads to a fantastic surprise.

The coffee outlines are very evocative--I never would have seen the oak tree if you hadn't mentioned it, but now it's obvious. Very cool.

Thanks for the sidebar!

Shell said...

You outlining your coffee spills gives it a great effect. I do hope you experiement and use it in your paintings.

Leone said...

I really like both yesterdays and today pictures - actually I like all of them. What a great idea to do different variations of the same picture creating new patterns and choosing different colours. Your coffee spills are very creative, I never would have thought of outlining and it's turned it into a very interesting picture. I look forward to seeing a picture done along that theme. The colours are awesome.

Michelle | When I Grow Up Coach said...

I did the coffee page this weekend, too, Rowena - but while I tried to paint with mine, it ended up looking like, uh, a bunch of coffee stains. Don't get me wrong, I had a lot of big, messy, fun - but seeing your page! What a piece of art! The words, the rings (they look like a ribcage)'s beautiful. Who knew coffee was for painting?

Also, I do think that this girl's dress looks like it's in a terrarium, and she's transporting it. What a nice though.

jena strong said...

Personally, I just like that "futzing" found a place here. A favorite pastime of mine, too.

Genie Sea said...

This FG is absolutely fabulous! I love her!

And your "coffee stains" look like an ancient map of the world to be. A java map. Hot! :)

aquamaureen said...

Wow--isn't this "cutting loose" wonderful? After only a handful of days, so many of us, Rowena, are finding new freedom . . . Can you IMAGINE what might break free in all of us over the remaining 90+ days???

I love that, as you let the one painting evolve, FG became the terrarium

And in the coffee stains, I saw a ribcage too . . . I'm thinking it is YOURS,expanding, as you take deep breaths and then let them out, via your hands, on the page.

I absolutely LOVE the outlining . . reminds me of one time when Amanda and I each got some random pieces of plywood. I just saw "wood," but she started tracing along the lines in the wood and wow, something beautiful popped out. Now both of you have inspired me to look with different eyes at the messy and ordinary around me!!!

sema said...

Hi Rowena,
you have inspired me to join the challenge by giving me confidence that we can evolve as we go.I have created a new blog for my paintings- and plan to post my works there.I would love to hear your feedback on it.I would be happy to add my name to the participants list.
thank you

ina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ina said...

Rowena--Until recently, I've kept my computer mostly to myself. The other day, when I was talking to my 8yo daughter about the 100 in 100, and telling her about you, she wanted to see a Flying Girl. I showed her one. Then she wanted to see more and more and more. And now, every day she asks if we can check to see if you've posted a new one yet :-)

We are all having fun drawing. Thank you again for giving me a spark. And thank you for the fancy side bar.

As for Wreck This Journal, I started my adventure by taping it up on Friday. I finally went and mailed it yesterday. It arrived today. But I spent all weekend looking at everyone's wrecked journals, wanting to do some wrecking of my own. I think I'm gonna do the shower thing tonight! I'm finding that keeping the wrecking urge in mind helps me with my drawings when something gets too precious, but still needs work: I'm less afraid to wreck it when I can remind myself that something as beautiful as your coffee art can come from it. Wrecking a book will be easy for me, wrecking a drawing when I've got the eyes perfect and the mouth wrong, is harder, but I'm learning.

Rowena said...

Wow, you guys. You are so awesome. I'm actually sitting with all you said and I'm having a hard time responding to individual comments. Just wow.

All I can say is YES.

Where does it go?

Scaryvelous places.

The Fern and Mossery said...


Sheila said...

WOW! Who KNEW coffee rings could be so beautiful?! I may just start saving the paper towels mine end up on...j/k. But, I do see the rib cage too and isn't it awesome to think of the in'spiration' in it - inhale, exhale...

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

This turned out quite beautiful. Dare to spill coffee I say!

Jamie Ridler said...

Yowza! I can't believe your coffee spill turned into such art. Cool!

Rose said...

They are beautiful... It makes me think I might have to have a go at something along these lines maybe when I get to my coffee page... So inspiring!

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