Eirene – Mixed Media Mythology

As I mentioned previously, in addition to taking the year long Life Book and Let’s Face It art courses, I was also lucky enough to win a spot on a course titled Mixed Media Mythology.  Happily this course is much briefer and is self-paced so I can fit it around my other art commitments which, in turn, have to fit around life.  The subjects of the lessons are goddesses from a variety of cultures.  As suggested by my 40 Drawings of Greek Mythology challenge and many of the monsters in my altered book project, I LOVE mythology so this course was very much my cup of tea.

The first lesson I chose to tackle was based on the Greek goddess Eirene.  The lesson was taken by Lucy Brydon and I must say it was a joy to watch video instructions delivered in a Scottish accent.  Brydon likes to incorporate monoprinting with the gelli plate into her paintings so it was great to see that in action.  I have used gelli plate prints in my mixed media work but as a collage element.  This time the printing was done as a layer of the painting.  I really loved the effect and can see me using that again in future.  I also learned a lot from Brydon’s approach to painting hair.

I actually used a recent ink drawing as the inspiration for this painting.  I wanted to challenge myself to meld my style of drawing with mixed media painting, experiment and see how it turned out.  As Eirene was the goddess of peace, my intention had been to incorporate a dove into the painting.  However, I chickened (or doved?) out of it when the time came, too concerned I would paint a goofy looking pigeon and thereby wreck the whole piece.  I, therefore, indicated the idea of peace through using pale, harmonious colours and some olive branches in her hair.

1 Eirene 1

1 Eirene 2

I like how the painting turned out except that the facial proportions went a bit Modigliani on me.  I have thought so before but I definitely need to get an easel so that my perspective in relation to the paper is more accurate.  My standing easel did not survive emigration.  I am considering a table top easel because of the way I work, in fits and starts, as that would allow me to leave it set up longer.

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