22 March 2014

New Portfolio Update - 'The Garden' - Part II

['The Garden' - Part I]

As I work on several projects at once - partly for my own creative gratification and maintenance of productivity - the larger work evolves, and this is most certainly true for that of my bigger paintings.

'The Garden' has reached final figurative development, with only a few finishing touches on clothing and costume detail, now moving on to the environment structuring - a woods, and the garden itself.

Here are sample previews of the final stages described above. I'm keeping this brief because there is more to be revealed in its entirety, shortly.

Until then, a sneak peak! ...And other news to come, so check back.

'The Garden', Crop Detail Figure 2, Graphite, 2014.
'The Garden', Crop Figure 2, Graphite, 2014.
'The Garden', Crop Detail Figure 1 (revised), Graphite, 2014.

Hypnos & Pasithea Part II

In Part I I address the preliminary drawings for each of these paintings, and my reason for posting them under one heading, together - what their conceptual relationship is, and how I wanted the composition to allude to their mirror dynamic.

But, I am painting them separately, and consequently, one has been completed before the other.

Here is 'Hypnos' - Roman 'Somnus' - the dweller of Erebos, Greek god of sleep and the unconscious. The black feathers of Hypnos' wings gently enfolding him in his symbolic sleep.

*Note the alterations in the painted version from the drawn conceptual stage, alterations that I mentioned would be taking place in the previous post. I wanted the inner halo space to be just that - light, advancing out to a more design-based, Grecian, external halo, then the darkened negative space of his abode, rather than the drawn, line-work focused darkness of the inner halo from before. I needed a balance from his surrounding, and an aid to the asymmetry I was going for, so I think the light at the core is appropriate.

'Hypnos', Watercolor & white acrylic, 2014.
'Hypnos', Detail, Watercolor & white acrylic, 2014.

For more on the counter-piece 'Pasithea', see the link at the top for information in Part 1, or stop by again soon for Part 3, wherein she will be in full color!
She is currently on the painting board, while I work on a few other projects simultaneously.

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Happy creating, in the meantime - Mairin-Taj

06 March 2014

New Portfolio Update - 'The Garden' - Part I

Queen Victoria is quoted to have said, "I would venture to warn against too great intimacy with artists as it is very seductive and a little dangerous". 

In a sense, to an extent, no lover exists when art calls an artist, because to them, their greatest lover and their life partner is...creativity. This is the relationship an artist fosters first and foremost, from childhood through all their days, and it is the relationship they will know the longest. Possibly the most intimately, however deeply they love the people in their lives.

It is also true - to my mind - that stagnancy begets a rancorous artist, as movement is life, and life is dynamism between creativity and participation, or application.

I've formulated a new portfolio, and - though I am yet mulling over several synonymous titles or names for the series - it deals with Love and War, the peaceful warrior, the soul warrior, the strength born from journeying through tension and passion, from the (my) female perspective.

There are nine paintings - one of a few underway is called 'The Garden'.

The Garden is, philosophically, that place where the psyche is when we fall in love, when we cultivate a relationship with Love. To love is an act of environmentalism, no? Learning to tend to the growth of oneself, another, and the geography of the relationship created by your two, ever merging worlds. When we leave a love, we leave the Garden, we drop our sheers, trowels, and watering cans, we neglect the landscape, and it turns wild, away from our nurtured intimacy with it, which gave it light and color.

Hand-Copied Drawing of 'The Lovers' - German embroidery on white tapestry, 15th Century.

I was working through these concepts in reaction to a love that I experienced in my life for a short time in the past year, and so inspired was I by this never before known love that I began the steps down the path to this portfolio series. Little did I know how the love would end - the Garden was neglected long before I was ready to put down my pruning tools - but the struggle that would come of it led me to some of my most potent inspiration.

The above image is my hand-copied drawing from a panel of a German tapestry, dating to the 15th century, embroidered on white linen, called 'The Lovers'. I stumbled upon it seemingly randomly way back when, and it was a puzzle piece in the conceptualization and compositional process. These two figures are in a garden of sorts, after all, surrounded by the flora and fauna of their courtship, as it were.
Trees, a favorite subject of mine heretofore TOO little incorporated into my work, will be a key iconic component of the series, and feature most specifically in 'The Garden', mimicking the tree from the tapestry piece, playing the role of whatever measure of strength young lovers plant and tend together, so long as they are together.

Original thumbnail sketch for my painting 'The Garden', 1x1.5" (roughly), Graphite, 2013.

But like the garden, does that tree die when the love is left? Maybe one of its young and tender roots is torn near the surface of the soil, or lightning breaks its green shoots, splitting the slender trunk too far past salvaging...Maybe the sapling oak has a few crisped leaves in the painting to indicate it's doom? I haven't decided yet. But foreshadowing abounds, in the concept, in the symbolism.

Oak sapling, symbol of the strength intended to be cultivated, Initial sketch, Graphite, 2013.

I've done many anatomical roughs, exploring the posturing and the character of the two figures, and will yet do more before the final figures are reconciled for the painting stage. The following is just a few samples of this process, as - again - an initial compilation, for this 'Part I'.

'The Garden' Sample Initial Figurative Sketches, Graphite compilation, 2013.

More to come on the final pre-painting drawing, resolutions yet to be made, and looking to other development on the series. 
I like to leave enough sway to the creative flow, so I'm not planning out every aspect of this series' development to the 't'. Certain paintings are bound to develop at a more quick rate than others, and posts will consequently become intermingled in their content. So, the 'parts' will be important to mapping overall progress, haha.

In the meantime, visit back for the painting update on last post's 'Hypnos & Pasithea'.


05 March 2014

Hypnos & Pasithea - Part I

These two projects are separate paintings, but are paired in post form because, conceptually, they are married personifications; 'Hypnos' Greek god of sleep and the unconscious, and 'Pasithea', Greek goddess of rest & relaxation, one of the Kharites, or the Graces.

Myth is an old love of mine, no conceptual pun intended, and though it began with Celtic studies into my ancestry, I have a fascination in all mythos palettes, all cultures and aesthetics. In my Waldorf (Steiner) education, different mythologies were explored at length, and I still recall numerous blocks of study utilizing the Greek and Roman archetypes.
But only recently did I learn that Hypnos - Roman 'Somnus' - the dweller of Erebos, was wed to Pasithea, one of the youngest of the Graces representing (similarly) relaxation, etc.

And then, unintentionally, two portraits were born.

Halos of Greecian-designed light surround their heads in spheres of themed reverie - Black feathers of Hypnos' wings gently enfolding him in sleep, and poppy blooms tumbled about Pasithea, for her association with halucination and Hypnos, whose symbol is the poppy.

Each have their name in Greek at the bottom, with the English version reflected back at the top.

I will be making an alteration or correction in the painting stage of 'Hypnos', however, and that is to do with the light indications I made in the drawn version here.

So, heads up. Haha.

'Hypnos', Painting Preliminary, Graphite, 2013.
'Pasithea', Painting Preliminary, Graphite, 2014.

These two are on the painting boards and will be my color preoccupation for the present, while I attend to concept and graphite studies for other projects, simultaneously.  More on that to come.

And more on these two personifications in Part II! Visit back. 

'The Master's Fee' by Richard P. Alvarez

To read the story, follow here.

For the background and process, continue below.

If you've caught up on the previous post - Doodle, Paint, & Photo of Ren Faire Days - you'll know what I refer to when I say I had the serendipitous delight of meeting true Renaissance man Richard Alvarez while working for the PA Faire at Mount Hope in 2013.

Needless to say, we struck up a great rapport with a good common ground of interests. Though our different work schedules only overlapped on the property for a brief time, the notion of working together was sparked readily, and keeping in touch for the following few months resulted in the commission of 'The Master's Fee' title illustration.

I am honored to have been chosen for a piece once set aside for a great illustrator, now passed on. It was a joy to explore the visualization of Richard's witty, mid 1700's English flash fiction tale, picking and choosing the period-appropriate details that would help bring my interpretation of his ripe words to life.

We continued a dialogue through the 'rough' and 'tight' stages of my process, to keep the end goal in line:

Sample of one of several 'roughs', initial conceptualizing stage, Graphite, 2014.
Once the orientation, format, and posturing of the characters was narrowed down from the initial array, I took the concept to a few 'tighter' contour versions, two samples of which are shown next:

Continued concept in contour 'tight' stage, Graphite, 2014.
Continued concept in contour 'tight' stage, Second character, Graphite, 2014.
Once we found the fit to the story, I got the 'go-ahead' and began the painting process. At this time, I was working from a 'temporary' Studio between some locations in New York state.

Painting Process One, Photo, Watercolor, 2014.
Painting Process Two, Photo, Watercolor, 2014.
Painting Process Three, Scan, Watercolor, 2014.
Painting Process Four, Photo, Watercolor, 2014.
Painting Process Five, Scan, Watercolor, 2014.
Painting Process Six, Scan, Watercolor, 2014.
Painting/Calligraphy Process, Scan, Watercolor, 2014.
And the final work:

'The Master's Fee' Title Illustration, Watercolor, 2014.

For more, visit my website at mairintajcaya.com

To contact me, for questions, or to commission me, visit here.