Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sneak Preview! The Flower of Compassion

Artist and friend Michelle Wiebe has been an inspiration to me for quite some time. Her paintings are simply gorgeous and show such a mastery of line and color that it makes me giddy!

Recently, I saw a painting of hers, "Esther," which was stunning. It bounced behind my eyes for some time until it finally landed on a painting I've been itching to rework, "The Flower of Compassion Sows Gardens."

Michelle's use of black line, reminiscent of Mucha's work, encouraged me to break that old, authoritarian dictum NOT to outline my pictures in black. It's amazing what voices we have inside of us that keep us from expressing ourselves! I have heard some artists say (with pride) that they won't use black at all, for no other reason're not supposed to!

Not using black came from the Impressionists, and they had their reasons, but it's by no means a hard and fast rule (I happen to like black) or a measure of one's sophistication as an artist. Just as speaking with split infinitives isn't a declaration of your lower intelligence--that's a grammatical rule created by 17th and 18th century grammarians trying to force English (a Germanic language) to behave like Latin. Ah, the twists and turns we put ourselves through!

Anyway, with Michelle (and Mucha) as inspiration, along with my cultural background, I've reimagined "The Flower of Compassion Sows Gardens" into something that thrills me. There's a lot of iridescence in this painting, which changes the way it appears depending on angle and light (so much fun!), so there will definitely be better pictures when I list it. This is, after all, just a sneak peek!

Take care,

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