Monday, March 8, 2010

Busy experimenting!

Sometimes I need a push, especially at the beginning of the year after Christmas and holidays and hot, uncreative weather, to get myself painting again.  I've always been the kind of slightly disorganised (or not so slightly!), procrastination-prone person who benefits from a deadline.  I may always end up bemoaning the fact that a tight schedule means I never quite reach the heights I was aiming for, but I'm also well aware that without a deadline I more often than not never even get started, and my great ideas stay just that...ideas that never get fleshed out, never become real.  So, to get this years' ball rolling, I did something I quite often do...entered an Art competition BEFORE I'd painted the piece I'd entered.  This was a little different, as the piece was partly done, a landscape that I did a couple years ago, having great fun playing around creating the stormy sky and ominous clouds, but it just didn't stand on its own.  So I tossed the idea of adding a figure around for a bit, then thought maybe a spot of collage might be interesting to experiment with...and thought of a name...and put in my entry form!  Right, now I have to paint it!  Hmmm, and of course, having put it down as a 'mixed media' piece, I can't just paint, so that vague collage idea is going to have to be utilized even if I have no idea if it will even work or not.  So...this is what I've been working on for the last week!  It's called 'Storm Spirit Moving'.

Figure pencilled in and face and arms painted, basic hair put in.  As the landscape painting had a spray gloss varnish on it, it's hard to get a good photo without white shine patches!  The painting is quite large, about 1m x 1m, and I haven't done one that big for some time, so it felt good to be back at the easel upstairs in my little studio!  Stayed like this for a few days because I was having serious doubts about whether my collage idea would work.

OK, I finally committed to the collage idea...I think it's working OK, but the plan is to go over it with some delicate white pen-and-ink patterns, like a kind of lacework.

Finished!  Well, as finished as it's going to get, as I had to take it in today.  

I always spend too much time trying to plan things out it my head before committing pen to paper (or canvas), but I still get excited when things occur along the way that I hadn't thought of.  The white pen-and-ink patterns started to remind me a little of some of the patterns in the Nazca Desert in Peru...and then I started thinking they were like some kind of ancient celestial maps of constellations, which I thought was highly appropriate...and then I realised they also reminded me of crop circles!  They're essentially just doodles, no real thought and definitely no planning or designing gone into them, so I quite liked that idea.  I need to stop thinking about my work so much BEFORE I start it, and just start and see what happens, allowing myself to have fun along the way.  If I stop worrying so much about what might go wrong, I might discover some really interesting things!

16 comments:

Jessie said...

Oh Christina this really is gorgeous! I've been toying with the idea of mixed media recently too. I love colour and texture and although I'm enjoying the watercolours lately, I do miss working on something bigger with a bit more 'surface' to it. My easel stands in the corner, face to the wall, patiently waiting for my return! :)xx

Jessie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E.J. Stevens said...

Wow! So beautiful! I love how you shared your progress.

Jodaeodesign said...

Your idea is a success, it turned out beautifully.

Julia Kelly said...

this is wonderful- I love the strong orange at the bottom and she seems to have command of all the elements- holding on to swirling wind like a balloon! nice-

Heather's Haven said...

Congratulations! It turned out beautifully, Good luck on the contest!

Faerie Moon Creations said...

Really gorgeous job! Thanks for showing the progression of the piece. Theresa

Beadwright said...

I am speachless. I can't take my eyes off the first picture. Amazing.

Nicole/Beadwright

WrightStuff said...

Wow, that's such a stunning piece - her storm blew me away!

peggyapl said...

wow, beautiful! the collage made it really unusual and even more stunning. it is always great to see the progress of a piece and how it can get better even when you think it's already fine.

sheree said...

Ohh Christina this is just amazing, I just adore the progression, I feel like Im growing with her, in her story some how and have seen how far she has come.
I love the way she starts so serene in the first photo and then becomes wild and wise in the last. Your collage looks perfect too, once you have put in the lacework drawings it all tied together so perfectly but the storm balloons blow my mind, what an amazing imagination you have, god I love that!
Well done making a deadline too, Im in a no deadline phase at the moment so nothing is happening, Im going camping on the weekend and then it will be all go after that hopefully!!
I start adult art classes in weeks EEkkk!!!
well done Christina, another masterpiece in my eyes!

sheree xxx

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Great energy in this picture, Mermaid. I enjoyed reading about your exploration during the process. I agree that you enjoy the flow of the painting and discover surprises along the way. Hey, thanks for the tip re: "Liberte". Can't wait to see it.

Kathy said...

Wow...the mixed media painting is absolutely stunning. I truly enjoyed reading about your quest from start to finish...:D. I love the whole transformation. Are you going to sell prints? I just love the flow of it.

Bright blessings,
Kathy

A mermaid in the attic said...

Thanks again everyone, I'm glad to see you all think it worked! Kathy, if I don't sell it this time I'll try and get some better photos to use as prints, unfortunately these aren't good enough quality.

ruthie said...

christina, i agree with everyone this is gorgeous! i am always fascinated to see the process other artists use. I am just like you, i need deadlines to kick start me into action, or else i spend far too long planning & procrastinating. Im all fro going with the flow & seeing where it takes us!! I admire the way you plunged into the competition regardless, v. brave. i can see you are on a roll. I haven't yet progressed to a big piece, not quite brave enough! x

Hindustanka said...

love this painting, the way the girl's dress disappears...or flies away...

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