Week 47 of Life Book was all about the importance of creative play and was led by Chris Zydel. The lesson was not a tutorial but rather an encouraging talk and, therefore, the outcome was totally free-form. Frequent readers of my blog will know that I struggle with intuitive painting as I work better when I have a vision, something to work towards. However, over the course of Life Book so far, I have learned the importance of getting out of my head a bit and just messing around with the materials and seeing what happens. I am not there yet but I am on the path towards finding the right balance between intuitive and intentional that works for me.
I started by just laying down some colour in different layers. I use my kitchen table as my art space and that corner of the kitchen has a dual aspect window. Looking out on the Autumn leaves tumbling from the trees, I found myself reaching for the Autumnal colours of yellow, orange, red and brown. I scraped paint with an old hotel card, dribbled paint, stencilled and finger painted. After a while, I began to see a shape form in one area that could be a simplified torso shape. That triggered the idea for a figure of some sort to be the focal point in my painting. I decided to add some gold paint in a circle. I didn’t like how central the circle was, however, so I pulled it into a tilting oval. That was what gave me an epiphany: the gold oval could be the wing of an Autumn Fairy.
So playing around and being intuitive got me to that juncture and then I worked more intentionally. I sharpened up the shapes that were the scaffolding of my idea and began the process of painting a figure. I kept my painting more illustrative and childish, like a picture book illustration, as befitted the subject matter. I used Neocolor II, Inktense pencils and Posca paint pens to refine everything and add the details. For all that my stencilling is still spectacularly terrible, I am quite pleased with how this piece turned out and feel like I am a step closer to striking that balance between intuitive and intentional. My chosen word, right at the beginning of Life Book, was “balance”. I am pleased I am finding it in different areas of my life.