Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Final Piece!

"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair." 
-Kahlil Gibran
Below are photos of my final piece for this project. I hope it goes down well with my tutors, its hard to create something in two weeks or less. I started comparing paintings of the Virgin Mary and of the more Pagan styled paintings of the green woman by Brian Froud.

I wanted to create an image of Nature herself, a person of living energy. Holding a city plucked from a dying world in the universe's garden.
I wanted the city to be small in her hand. showing that even though something so big and that is growing so fast, can easily be plucked form history, wiped out by a single wave of the hand......

"This is a beautiful planet and not at all fragile.  Earth can withstand significant volcanic eruptions, tectonic cataclysms, and ice ages.  But this canny, intelligent, prolific, and extremely self-centered human creature had proven himself capable of more destruction of life than Mother Nature herself.... We've got to be stopped."
-Michael L. Fischer, Harper's, July 1990

For the background I printed out a whole bunch of lyrics by Iron and Wine and some poetry on Nature by Emily Dickinson, then pasted them in rows, from top to bottom, left to right, onto the board.

Close-up of background

I then painted it with a thin layer of gesso. Thin enough so you can still see the lyrics, but also creating a surface to paint over.
Using a sponge I painted a layer of gold mixed with slow drying fluid retarder to thin it out and such.

The original drawing

I transferred the drawing onto the board

I taped the edges so I could get an even line when I painted the dress.

I mixed slow drying fluid retarder with the paint so it would go on very thin. The added gold stars to the dress.

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. "
 -John Muir
I stupidly didn't take picture as I was going along, but this is it before I added the horns and city.

Close-up of face after I added the antlers.

Close-up of Antler. The antler is made with hard moulding paste creating a relief. I also used he molding paste for the hair that is wrapped round the antler. I've never used moulding paste before so It was pretty cool that I got to use all these different mediums and such for this piece.

Close-up of texture on antler.  I mixed the base colour with the paste then when it was dry, I sponged on the darker colour so it got in all the nooks and crannies, then using a lighter colour I sponged it lightly so the top bits lightened up.

Close-up of city. I used found photos of down-town Manhattan and New York, cutting and pasting the images together. Then I placed them inside a pressed rose. Its funny I got the rose when I graduated from primary school. All the girls were given one. So I might as well put it to good use I suppose. I painted the rose with gold paint and added a bit of red on the edges. I wish I did more with the city. Maybe build it up with a bit of cardboard at the back. Unfortunately I didn't realize this until it was to late, if I had more time, I'd have to press another rose, and basically start all over again......

This symbol is in the bottom right hand corner of the painting. I thought about putting in on her forehead or something but decided it balanced out the painting a lot better to put it in the corner. The symbol is the Ruin symbol for love. I also thought about using another one which is the symbol for healing. But I chose love. Because without love we are nothing, how can we heal without love, even if its just love for ourselves..

The Final Product

"A living planet is a much more complex metaphor for deity than just a bigger father with a bigger fist.  If an omniscient, all-powerful Dad ignores your prayers, it's taken personally.  Hear only silence long enough, and you start wondering about his power.  His fairness.  His very existence.  But if a world mother doesn't reply, Her excuse is simple.  She never claimed conceited omnipotence.  She has countless others clinging to her apron strings, including myriad species unable to speak for themselves.  To Her elder offspring She says - go raid the fridge.  Go play outside.  Go get a job.  Or, better yet, lend me a hand.  I have no time for idle whining." 
 -David Brin
Sketchbook: Comparing pictures of the Virgin Mary to more Pagan paintings by the artist Brian Froud. Looking at how hands were positioned.
Hands are good at telling stories all on their own.

Sketchbook: Initial Sketch with reference photos

Sketchbook: Experimenting with Conte pencils and looking at other artists who used conte on their own and with acrylics. I didn't have much success as I am not very familiar with conte pencils and decided that it wouldn't work.

Sketchbook: Close up of head. Looking at other abstract portraits that other artists have done

Sketchbook: Text used for background, paint and cut-outs.

Sketchbook: Testing colours and paint.

My workspace while working on this piece.! Complete chaos! Beautiful! :O)

All the palettes I used for this painting. I put this in because as corny as it sounds we need to all remember were we came from. Were our roots lie. Whether we came from nature or from a dried up palette of paint. It makes us who we are.

"Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose."
-From the television show The Wonder Years

It may sound silly but it is worth it if you listen to this song while looking at the final painting, it really brings it alive!

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