Let me show the progression of this painting before I start talking about it.
I have this terrible affliction called insatiable stimulation. What is this you ask?
OK. I made this up but let me tell you the symptoms: If my surroundings are not well-lit, sunny, happy, colorful and changing every 2-3 months I get agitated, depressed, restless and I want to physically move to a new home. More poor husband. Can you imagine your wife asking to move every 2-3 months? He has learned to nod, smile and pretend he’s listening. I know he thinks I’m crazy and yet he still sticks around -God Bless em’.
So, it’s probably not realistic to move every 2 months. I have had to create coping mechanisms to trick my system into thinking it’s in new surroundings without actually moving. What I do is I gut my living room. I empty it of everything and then I refill the room with whatever I own in a very different way. For instance, this was my fireplace mantle at Christmas and this is what it looks like in January…
I change the pillows, blankets, nick-knacks, table. Everything. And for about two months I lose that itch for new surroundings.
I tell you this long winded-story because it is the muse for my new painting.
I feel like I have kind-of run out of inspiration for a new room given my same-old tricks. So I said to myself, “You’re an artist. Create a new painting to give you inspiration for a new room”. Duh, I can actually do this!
Now this new painting is a bit weird I know. It’s incredibly bright. A bit naive. And a bit wonky – (In a nutshell it’s me!). I had a hankering to cut paper like the artist Eric Carle of The Very Hungry Caterpillar child’s book. Cutting paper is very physical and in reality it is carving away at negative space instead of creating a positive image. Paper arranging allows you to move your composition around so that you can work on the spaces in-between images and make sure those spaces are just as interesting as your true subject matter. Now when I say it’s me, what I mean is that it is incredibly personal. I live in a little yellow house, the 4 birds represent my family unit, I am an avid gardener and environmental advocate, the two people represent the long hikes I take with my daughter and dead center is our lovely kitty-cat Willow.
After painting all of the paper cut-outs, I truly had no idea what I wanted for the back-ground. I sat with it for about a week and then I took a deep breath and decided to start with a grayscale under-painting. My idea was to paint color over the under-painting but the black and white had so much energy to it I stopped. It sort of reminds me of when the Wizard of Oz moves from B&W to color. That is the most magical part of the movie. So I kept it black and white. About 6 layers of varnish later and it’s one cohesive unit.
The painting is large. It’s 48 inches across. It will be the focal point of my room. But not until I become stir-crazy sometime in March. I am content with my current living space, so I better not push it -LOL.
When that day comes, I will post a picture :)