Tag Archives: sculpting

Happy New Year!…”Celebration”

Dear Friends and Friends of my work

"Celebration", oil on board, 60cm x 90cm
“Celebration”, oil on board, 60cm x 90cm

Happy New Year and all the best for 2012!   May you enjoy a year of celebration and to start it off, I have chosen to share with you a very special painting which I have just completed titled “Celebration”.   (Well almost completed, I can see a couple of small adjustments I need to make.)

Over the last few months I have been working on what has turned out to be a major project being a portrait painting for my Mother for her 80th birthday on the 19th of January.  It began as a portrait of both her and my Dad celebrating her 79th birthday, however encouraged by my mentor, Nafisa, this was extended to include portraits of the family in the background.  My personal challenge of painting two portraits in one painting was extended to eight!  (I am the one on the right in the portrait of the four children).

While the painting has been challenging on a number of levels as an artist and as a daughter (with Dad’s health declining dramatically in the year), overall it has been an absolute joy to paint especially knowing the joy that it will bring to my mother.  Countless hours have gone into it’s creation from a full scale tonal drawing to begin with, before even beginning painting, to whole days of painting.   Dad’s shirt took a day in itself, mastering or endeavouring to get the sculpting, the tones and the check print.  It would have been a lot easier if it was a plain shirt, and as an artist it would have been easy to just paint it plain however Dad has always worn check shirts and this is one our family all knows. 

The gift to Mum feels more like a gift to me because somewhere in the process of its creation it has affirmed my love for portraiture, for painting from a space of joy and love and my desire to be able to paint portraits for others who will also treasure them. 

For me “Celebration” is not just about celebrating Mum’s 80th birthday, but about celebrating the union between Mum and Dad for the 59 or so years they have been together, through sickness and health (the way Mum’s hand is resting on Dad’s arm), it’s about celebrating family and life and recording it for all time.   Surrounded by roses from her garden and with Mum’s signature sponge cake in front of them (and which I recalled while painting that I had helped decorate), this painting captures so much of our family history. 

It has been a celebration for me to be able to create this painting for Mum and I am grateful for the teachers who have helped me to develop as an artist over the years, and particularly in these last two with Nafisa focussing on my portraiture skills.

If you look closely, behind Dad’s head in the painting is the corner of a small portrait with just the forehead showing of  our daughter, Nyomi.  I wanted to have atleast one of the grandchildren included in the painting to indicate the generations, even though it was suggested at one stage that perhaps I could leave that small painting out of the picture.  It wasn’t until much further along in the painting that I realised how important it was Nyomi was included because one day she will actually inherit this painting and it will be her’s to pass on in our family. 

Some years ago now before I had actually taken lessons in portraiture, I did a portrait of Nyomi holding a chook on my parent’s farm and in the background of this painting is just the arm of her grandfather, my Dad, wearing one of the cardigans he has always worn.  Again someone suggested I leave Dad’s arm out of the picture and yet I am so glad I didn’t because it has captured three generations in the painting…Nyomi, her grandfather at her side and myself by way of having painted it.  Part of the power and the significance of the painting would have been lost without Dad’s presence and likewise had Nyomi not been included in Mum’s painting.  The painting of Nyomi is in my portrait gallery and is called “Love”.  In fact, there is a lot of love in both these paintings.

So I hope you too can join in and enjoy “Celebration” and may 2012 be a year to celebrate your life, family, friendships, your passions and all that is important to you.

With best wishes for 2012,

Marion

 

Where to from here?

Exhibition over and where to from here?  A whole mixture of thoughts, experiences and feelings post our exhibition.  Highs and lows.  Conversations to follow up, action items to be progressed but the big question, where to from here?  What am I to paint?  What is my next theme? And nothing is forthcoming, atleast not immediately, and so there has been a sense of despondency.  Added to that is the overwhelming thought of,  where will the energy come from to put together another large body of work?  (And the answer, when I listen quietly, one painting at a time.) 

I recognise the “controller” within me has been active, the part of me who likes to have things sorted, planned and mapped out, that wants to know.  Because without knowing, it’s pretty scarey and all the ‘what ifs’ arise. 

Yet despite the despondency, I keep moving, keep following my heart and trusting.  Whether I have a theme or not, and whether it’s right or not, I keep painting.  And in fact I haven’t stopped.  I know the day after the exhibition closing, there was a real sense of needing to get ‘back on the horse’ and I have done, and everyday since.  And what I am learning is not only about painting but about trusting things to work out.  Having a sense of direction but allowing for things to unfold.  Like a request that I have put out there in search of a portrait teacher to develop my skills.  And there is a theme emerging, as there have been others in the past. At this point the theme seems to be individuals in the landscape.  Yet guided by my heart to begin another series of trunks, today has been spent sculpting in the bark with some impasto and loving every moment of it.

Where to from here?  Trusting, allowing, and growing, one painting at a time.