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'.


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