I have always sought out imagery in the world around me. I would drift into sleep with my eyes half open watching the figures dance across my bedroom curtains. My imagination was vivid and searched for possibilities in the world around me. I loved the imaginative game of finding images in the clouds so my evolving intuitive art works are a natural way for me to develop my imagery. We usually find what we seek and as a figurative artist I choose to search for figures and usually find them. This is not without surprises as the figures are often in unexpected combinations, poses and size. This is the joy of discovery as I seek for the imagery that is waiting to be revealed.
Step 1: image musing.
I sit and contemplate the image seeking out the areas I love and looking at what feels like it is working. I remind myself that this will change when the image reveals itself. As I start o search for possibilities, I turn the canvas around and wait till something stands out. I stop and consider each possible image that I can see. There is a figure of a girl on the left hand side of the panel and a possible larger face on the left but I am unsure and continue to turn the canvas. I find myself coming back to the original image that I saw when I took my iPad reference photo. A large close up of a woman’s face in profile coming in from the left hand side of the canvas. The shapes in the top corner remind me of a bun. I see her as a mother as I realize there is a young girl to the right of the canvas and she is reaching up and gently cradling her mothers face. This is a beautiful moment of recognition and I am drawn to the feeling of connection within the image.
Step 2: defining the image…
Now that I have found my image, I get a piece of chalk and start to block in the main shapes. The chalk is easily removed and I can work out more of the structure of how the forms fit on the page and how the composition works as a whole. I am conscious of the negative spaces and how they work with the larger forms.this is a close up view which was definitely unexpected. I thought I would have a beautiful flowing dress etc. but I have learnt to trust and listen to the intuitive prompting.
Step 3: blocking in the background.
The amount of the background I choose to block in with a wash of white ( or sometimes a color) depends on the image itself. In this case the images are quite large so I block all the background areas in with a white wash but leave some transparencies. I still need to add white to the section below tugriks arm so the arm creates a bridge. The trick… and the learning here, is to not overdo the piece but reveale enough to create the intended feeling. Each change feels as though something is gained and something is lost. It is a matter of trusting the process and listening to what your intuition tells you.