Thursday, November 12, 2009

Traveling Through The Winter

Traveling Through the Winter
Golden Fluid Acrylic on watercolor paper
8x10" image on 9x12" paper

Yesterday, I was browsing on line and saw a photograph in the background of some picture of a house. Shame on me, but I lost the image. All of a sudden, I was inspired to paint another traveling scene, and I scrabbled around in my room for my paints and papers, filled a jar with water and picked the biggest brush in my small brush collection (I've been painting small, so I have mostly detail brushes) and then I wooshed on a bright red wash for the underpainting and started adding layers.

The inspiration was the photo in the picture, a distant stand of bare trees, a white overcast sky. The original was green, though. A bright grass green, that as I painted never gelled. The white sky and the gray leafless trees made me think cold. And the painting that I was doing, as opposed to the reference photo, wanted to be white.

What can I say? This is how I paint often. Start with my idea, which often doesn't work and then listen to what the painting says it wants. That's why I don't do straight realism. Because the medium has it's own requests of me. The thing I am painting has its own life, outside of the thing I am representing.

That's how I paint. I pay attention to the paint. I listen to the painting. And if it says something different than the referenced subject, the painting gets what it wants.

This was kind of a fun painting.

Even if I had kids climbing all over me. Actually, I had kids collaborating. Telling me I needed more white, or I needed to add pink *right there*. Yes. The pink light streak, that was Ivy's idea. And she told me where. And she wasn't satisfied until it was done. I'd been planning maybe an orange or a yellowy white, more like my other traveling paintings, but in the end, I think my two year old was right. It needed pink. I don't only listen to my paint or my intuition, I listen to the kid, too.

As for the meaning of the painting... oh, Winter... that time of withdrawal, of silence, of sleep, of dark.

Winter reminds me that this too does indeed pass.

8 comments:

Karen L R said...

hmmm...silence, sleep, dark. yes, i can feel it coming too. this is a beautiful piece.

jena strong said...

What she said.

shannon said...

i love that you are so connected to the seaons. yes...withdrawal...a time to retreat, reflect, go within. love, love that. and i really love this painting.

Bobbi Lewin said...

oh isn't it funny how the paintings have their own ideas of what they want to be. and the more your try to force your own idea, it goes badly!

Your painting reminds me of the stormy sky that is outside my window right now!

Leah said...

I paint this way a lot too. Letting the painting tell me where to go.

I smiled reading about Ivy's instructions. I love how they can watch you work and get involved.

Arlene said...

Hi, Rowena! I haven't visited your blog for a while and wanted to pop in and see how you were doing. I saw that you are participating in the AEDM too, as I am. I love how you said you let the painting tell you what to do with it. I think I do that too at times. Not always, but I think my best work has been created that way. I love your paintings and I especially love how you write. It is always interesting and it feels like we are just having a conversation. I enjoy that. Great to catch up to you!

Querulous Squirrel said...

Lovely painting, description of your artistic process, and the images of how you integrate the input of the kids. Reached my half-way point in my 100 stories in 100 days inspired by you!

Genie Sea said...

Ivy is the voice of intuition. :) I love how children are still connected to their essence undiluted by life's nonsense. :)

Love the painting. It's like beautiful mirage that will sustain us through winter.

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