Thursday, August 13, 2015

Doing Different Things and Doing Things Differently

You know how when you meet someone and you're falling in love, they're the very first thing on your mind when you wake up? And they're in your mind all day? And they're the last thing you think about when you fall asleep? It's like they permeate your waking life. If you're very lucky, and very much in love, this can last for weeks, months, years. It's wonderful.

My experience of my daughter's death has been like that - not so wonderful, but definitely permeating my whole being and existence 24/7. It is changing me - I am redefining myself, doing different things and doing things differently, because the previous reality is shattered.

So as I progress through this journey, I find that there are things about the event that seep into my work - my artistic expression. I am giving voice to them because I am listening to the urges of Spirit within myself.

When we were at Elowah Falls, scattering her ashes, I took a photo just afterwards, and in the mist from the falls I saw a group of Spirit Women and one Standing Spirit, as if the Spirit Women were welcoming Jess's spirit, drawing her into their circle to cleanse and heal her from her earthly journey, which, after the sickness, has made her tired and caused her pain.

Do you see the circle of women and the standing spirit to the left?
So as I teach myself to do different things and do things differently, I bring this to the painting that is inspired by this photograph. I don't usually post too much about paintings while they're in progress, but this one is taking quite some time so I will post as I go. I think this painting is one of my best, and it is birthing a new style that I will bring into subsequent works. It's softer, and I like it. I am studying Stephanie Pui Mun Law's tutorials in order to develop my own style the way I see it in my head. Stephanie is a master of watercolor whom I greatly admire. Might as well try to learn from one of the best.

The landscape of the upper corner of the painting is done.
The upper left corner of the painting depicts the beautiful pines of Oregon, which I adore, and the beautiful waterfalls. After we scattered Jess's ashes by Elowah Falls, the Lovies released lime green and pink balloons with notes and prayers written on them, and as they floated up through the sky a part of my heart went with them. They are appearing in my work now.

Detail of the background falls.
In Oregon there are yellow flowers that grow just about everywhere and I love them, so I added some into my painting.

Jess in spirit form and the Spirit Women welcoming her.
This part of the painting is in the very early stages. I will glaze layers that gently pull out the features of the Spirit Women and the misty waterfoam surrounding them. And I'll glaze layers over the landscape in the foreground, which is composed of beautiful ferns.

Detail of Jess's spirit form
 When I drew Jess's spirit form I gave it wings, because she's turning into her celestial form, and she's my angel, so she must have wings. And because the moon was in the sky in the morning, soft white against robin's egg blue, I chose the Luna Moth as a reference for her wings, so they'll be a beautiful, soft lime green color with accents of deep navy blue.

The whole composition in its early stages.
So here's a photo of the whole composition in its very early stages. I will post more as I progress. I am enjoying working in this softer style and discovering how I can work with the watercolor to preserve its own expression as well as convey what's in my head.

Thanks for visiting!


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