Thursday, July 8, 2010

Blue Quilt

I decided I wanted to paint a series of illustrations of the Once And Future King. I chose a passage from the Sword In The Stone, at the very end, when the Wart had pulled the sword from the stone and his foster brother and foster father had bent down on one knee to hail the new king, and the Wart was overwhelmed with his fear. Actually, I chose a scene right before that scene, to be more accurate. And the sword was in the stone, and the three figures were standing beside it. The painting was very vague, mystical and weird looking, textural, I thought the colors were very beautiful, and I showed the painting to my painting-checker (family member, I have her look at all my work and she usually gives kind of vague answers like "it looks nice, I like it, what do you want from me?"), and she said something like, "it's three figures in a grave yard." I couldn't figure it out, at first, but then I realized the sword didn't look like a sword, it looked like a cross, head-stone fashion. That was when that painting died, right there. All the steam blew out of me. I had no desire to fix it--I wanted to get rid of it as quickly as possible. I try very hard to stay away from obviously morbid subjects and morbid paintings. I like dark and edgy, yes, but I like to tease meaning from paintings, not to get hit by meaning as if from a blunt object. So, nevermind the fact that this was not meant to be a painting of three figures in a graveyard--I like unexpected, happy accidents. I just didn't want it to be so obviously bleak.

I left it to dry, then I turned it into this. The pastel reds and yellows show from beneath the new layers of thalo blue and burnt umber. The texture underneath pokes up from below like little mountains. I was very satisfied with the painting when I finished it, but the more I see it, the more I enjoy it. I find the blue very comforting.

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