Archive for September, 2011

Its been quite some time since I posted and I’m pretty certain I begin all my posts with that line…. Well what can I say I’m not so much about writing as I am about making pictures I guess. …But… I thought I would do another post about the making of my latest large painting, ‘Reviving Ophelia’.

Those who are familiar with my work likely know that I am endlessly exploring duality and the circle of life and the dream state. I have a love of fairy tales like every other proper girl who was raised with stories of wolves, lovely girls and dark forests.

The driving ladies behind this latest work are Sleeping Beauty and Ophelia.  My piece isn’t driven necessarily by the stories as much as the visions that the tales evoke. But I have to say that John Everett Millais’s Ophelia painting was a great inspiration.

Before I go ahead and post the W.I.P. shots of the painting here is the completed ‘Reviving Ophelia’ . It is oil on wood 35″x55″

I don’t do a lot of sketching before I start a painting, I always say ‘I will next time’ or ‘I really should’ but my anxiousness to get going usually prohibits me from doing that. I end up working issues out on the panel and color changes etc. which makes it a longer process but more natural for me. I have to see something before I know whether it is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.

Another inspiration for this painting was a work on paper that I did in 2010 called ‘The Duel’ pictured below. I reeeeeally loved it, even though it wasn’t something that took me a ton of time like an oil painting it just really is special to me and I and missed it so I was trying to recapture it in a way and let it inform the new painting that was coming down the pike.

ok so here we go with the progress shots…I didn’t take as many as I would have liked but I was in the process of a big move at the time so it was enough to just get to paint let alone take pictures as I went along.

it started out with 2 girls and I was thinking that the color palette would be similar to the Duel piece.

Oh I guess i should also mention that I have been working for quite some time with these water skirts, I am a bit obsessed with them..for me  water does so much to evoke a dreamy state a place that is below and so different from the world above. It separates the conscious mind from the mysteries of the subconscious….blah blah blah …Pictures please!! OK.. ;-P

in the beginning the girl on the left was awake…and the girl on the right was looking at you 🙂

she quickly fell asleep and vines began to grow between them…

the vines disappeared and her hand began to reach out of her chest cavity…

here the plant life is forming around them and their under bodies are determined

more painting…

at this point the pinks and blues weren’t working for me so i did a wash of green over…and determined that the fox and deer needed to be the symbols that passed between them…

it’s always a major decision for me where the characters gaze lands and here she finally looks inward and away from the viewer…

here is where I made the decision and was also urged by another painting I was working on during this time titled ‘Glasshouse Girls make good warriors’ (pictured below) to bring up plant life into the cavity of the conscious girls torso….and begin to fill the surrounding space with giant hair ;P

‘Glasshouse Girls make Good Warriors’ oil on wood 19″x29″ framed (available at la Luz de jesus Gallery)

ok onward….

these aren’t out of order I guess I had second thoughts about the giant hair…but as you can see the organic area is pretty much completed first…I really loved painting this I love how so much of it took over the water from the inspiration pieces and there are just small pools remaining….

the appearance of the raven…at this point I was trying to figure out how I wanted to treat the unconscious girl I needed to balance her with the other half and for a while she had a giant wing (which i don’t have a pic of) but I settled on the bird being a part of her…thought the color ultimately changes to pinks for the raven….

don’t ask about the blond hair..LOL) …here is the first appearance of the heart eyed girl, I have painted her before and also made dolls of this character and in those representations she is blind…one of the first I did is pictured below and is a work on paper titled ‘Masquerade’ the heart eyed character has also been the ‘patron saint of blind love’

back to Ophelia..

whew dark hair!! 🙂 and the background coming together, I don’t have a good pic of when it was blue but I am glad i made that trip to the store that day and picked up an old Holland Carmine it completely transformed it for me….

refining refining and a fox growing wings…also I wanted to give her a death mask of sorts but nothing overt so this is what I came up with.

Reviving Ophelia will be making her debut at Varnish Fine Art Gallery’s Grand Reopening launch this Saturday Sept 24th from 4pm -8pm I hope to see you there if you live nearby!!


tweets for the sweet!!


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