Today speaking with a client, I was trying to explain my favorite place to feel closest to heaven. It is almost as though God paints the scene different every single night. Some trees with tinly icicles on each needle, some delicately powdered with fluff on the top of each branch and then some totally encased in a frozen frosting. These thoughts led me to look at a folder of old shots up on the ski hill.
Probably my favorite thing is the way light shows through the trees almost as an invitation. Always a thrill and obviously a favorite of mine as I probably have 100+ shots similar to this in my reference photography. I have done paintings of this frequently…. this is one of my early oils.
The shadows are of my husband and I around 2001-02. This was an early morning right after a heavy snow that left the trees fully cloaked they looked like hunched over creatures in groups. I loved being on the ski patrol, getting up on the mountain for first tracks and watching the mountain transform from sleepy and dark to bright white. No better morning than that. On the hill the same location never looks the same.
Here is another early morning where I stood for 5-10 minutes in this spot taking shots so I could see how fast the colors changed.
Amazing isn’t it? Okay, so maybe I aspire to be a ski bum. My son gave me a sweat shirt with that on it. Yep.
Things begin to progress nicely with our background wet on wet colors. Chakra Level 5, Throat Chakra is the connection to self-expression. It’s colors are light blue and other blues and it is located at the adams apple area of the throat. First carefully painting the symbol in varying blues, I think of all the air that passes through that part of our body. Blue is probably a real appropriate color for the throat. I wet the area around the figure-throat and apply layers of cereulean blue, royal blue and ultramaring repeatedly till I see the rays the way I want them.
Now I am also washing a little over the figure to be able to see how the shades are showing on that too. There is so much color information in this that I don’t want it to get confusing and too busy.
Now the wet-on-wet painting can begin. Yay! I love the way colors can flow together this way. I will concentrate on getting the symbols painted in the correct colors along with the areas around the figure before I begin to finish up the figure itself.
Chakra Level 7, Crown Chakra is the connection to the divine. It’s colors are white and rose and it is located at the very top of the head just like its name. A bright white and rose crown that looks kind of like a lotus blossom. First carefully painting the symbol in rather opaque rose hues with touches of red to bring up the value. I wet the area around the figure-head and the top symbol, then lightly apply layers of rose rays repeatedly till I am satisfied with the rays extending down to the top of the head between the mastic reserved white rays. In this level the rose shows but the white is covered up by the mastic. Don’t worry, it will not be hard to finish this part up correctly after we remove the mastic.
Chakra Level 6, Third Eye is the connection to intuition. It’s colors are Indigo and Purple (indigo with a touch of rose) and it is located on the forehead of our figure.I placed its symbol just above the head on the left. It has an outer circle with two sides of pointy mosque shapes coming out of an inner circle that has an upside down triangle in the center. I paint the symbol with a rose/purple center and indigo rays expanding across the area of the body that it affects. Now I can see the curves working together in the design.
Now you can see how my desk is arranged so that I can see my reference materials as I work on this painting.
The first task is to apply mastik or watercolor resist wherever I want to reserve white paper. Doing this allows me to paint wet on wet without worrying about avoiding where I will need clean white to be. It makes my hands much more sure of themselves. You probably notice how confusing the darker color where the resist is, but you easily get used to it and are able to know it will look way different soon.
Sketching layout. My first step is layout of a basic figure similar to the other figures that I illustrated in her healing book. It will soon be published then I can tell you more about it.
Here is the first part of the layout sketch locating all seven symbols on the figure.
My concept is to treat each location as an extension of the proper color of glow eminating from the symbol across the corresponding body part in a curve.
I have to alternated the placement of symbols on both sides of the figure to fit them so they will fit in the book layout and still be readable. The glow sections also alternated from side to side being separated by white dotted curves to help divide.
This mission, should I choose to accept it, is about “the 7 major chakras”. A subject that I know very very little about. “Mission Impossible”, in my artist world…. hurrying to proceed before the message self-destructs!
Here is what my client requested.
Please paint an image of the chakras – they need to be coloured correctly ( 2 specific colours for each) and numbered starting at the bottom. I am open to your creative suggestions always.
1 – red and rose red
2 – orange and rose orange (salmon like colour)
3 – yellow and rose yellow (peach like colour)
4 – Green and Rose Pink
5 – Sky blue and Violet (sky blue with a touch of rose)
6 – Indigo and Purple (indigo with a touch of rose)
7 – white and white hued with rose colour
My first step is to find out information about what chakras are, and what they look like. Thank goodness for Google. I was able to sort through a ton of information on the subject and was totally amazed at what is involved. Seven glowing points partnered with different body parts are focused on for healing, colors, scents, foods, and of course the healing yoga positions.
I print out the most helpful info and lay it where I can see it, to help me see things as I start to sketch ideas from the info. Here are two examples of information I found.
There is the;
Crown chakra, Third Eye chakra, Throat chakra, Heart chakra, Solar Plexus chakra, Sacral chakra, and the Root chakra. Whew! Here is one of the sketches submitted to the client that was approved to go ahead with the chakra watercolor painting mission. Step-aside Tom Cruise!
There are now nineteen completed hummingbirds embroidered around the edge of this 96″ x 55″ white tablecloth.
I began showing this embroidery project earlier this year, showing each hummingbird as it was being completed, the total tablecloth is progressing nicely to the next level. I began with drawing sketches of what I want to do on the cloth with an iron-off marker, (bought in the quilt section of the fabric store) then just get out my box full of thread (floss) and go for it. It is relaxing like painting with colorful thread for me. TV is often boring – especially the commercials so I enjoy doing this embroidery in the evenings to relax.
When completed my tablecloths don’t sit in a chest not being used. I give them to family, and really love to use them myself for fancy dinners or celebrations, and, I do sell some. I have even been known to take them to church auctions to raise money and do my tithing.
With the 19 birds around the edges complete, I am now adding branches with vines wrapped around them with occasional honeysuckly blossoms mixed-in and it seems to be really coming to life. Here is the first completed corner.
This membership show will be up through the weekend after Thanksgiving and the admission is free. The museum has a “Titanic Artifact” exhibit that is quite phenominal. I was checking out their site and noticed that you can purchase NWMAC year passes that are really quite affordable when you consider being able to go see any exhibit anytime you feel like it. Art is good for the whole family’s soul. Here are the show goodies on my dining room table.
Won a $60 prize from Creative Catalyst Productions, Inc. –
The Creative Alliance in Oregon for my entry into the Spokane Watercolor Society Juried Show 2017. I will be checking out the video’s today… “Learn Art Anywhere With Confidence” is their heading on the site.
One of the SWS members had laid a copy of The Inlander, October 5-11, 2017 on the table with a paperclip showing page 31 (for me to see when I came in to do my volunteer hours). I love the way artists take care of each other. I am so lucky to be a part of this talented group! The Inlander, has a picture of my painting entitled “Seven Hummingbirds J1516” at the top of their article entitled “A Fall Feast for the Senses”, by Chey Scott.
Cool huh? I would never had noticed cause I don’t always get a copy. It makes me feel great.
What did I do for Halloween? I dressed up as an old Cajun hick needing real thick glasses and wearing my shawl with my Mardi Gras beads. My table had a small pumpkin we grew and some taffy for visitors to snack on. I sat with my tablecloth embroidering hummingbirds at the MAC Museum on Halloween (yesterday). I think more people came over and showed interest in the hummingbird tablecloth I was embroidering, than in the art on the walls, or, maybe it was just the candy. The biggest surprise was that I had put way too much makeup and stuff in my hair messing it all up for my old Cajun lady costume ….and one lady said she liked my hair style. That is pretty bad when you try to make yourself look a real mess, and someone mistakes it for your style. Really?
I was the “docent” (babysitter) all day for the Spokane Watercolor Society Show art. This show is up through the weekend after Thanksgiving. There are some real beauties, and the admission is free.
After the creation of these roughs for John Dini I was able to get to work doing a more final pencil drawing for each scene. See the YouTube video below. Storytelling with a pencil… story board images for author John Dini, and his book entitled “Hunters in a Farmers World”. These images were part of his author’s tour slide show presentation for his book.