Positively fortunate is what I feel when reflecting upon my experiences with my family. In celebration of both my mom, dad and their own families, I have created this art as a Christmas gift for them. Now that Christmas has been celebrated, I can now reveal to you what I have been working on the past few weeks.
There are a lot of symbols in this art. The two trees represent two families joining together- both different, but common in values, strength and importance.
The curve of the branches, the movement of the colours, and the horses next to the automobiles, the baby and the teenager photographs all represent change over time and the flexibility that is required to accept the change.
The flowers symbolize the love, patience and kindness that my grandmothers and mother have given to nourish their gardens and families to help them to grow strong and beautiful.
The wheat in the middle represents hard word and dedication my grandfathers had in being drylanders, fathers and grandfathers.
Hidden symbols flow throughout the piece... children, a handwritten message, musical notes and a passage from my favourite author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, all representing some of my own passions or special gifts that my family members have given me. My mom is hidden in the picture with her brother and two sisters. I included them all together in hope that one day soon they can rekindle their love and friendships they once had for each other. My mom is also hidden in every brushstroke and her kind words of encouragement are always in my heart and head.
I have always had high regard for my dad and place him up on a pedestal. I have always admired his patience, humour, kindness and musical talents. For this reason, I have placed him in various locations. Like my mom, he has always been there for me, no matter where I am. In this art piece, Dad is high in the sky like on a pedestal of nature.
Both mom and dad have helped us all to become who we are today. We are eternally grateful for them. They are the sunshine that brightens our lives. The colours in this art reflect this.
I have also included a photograph of my grandma doing laundry outside with a tub and a washboard. She used to say that, " There is nothing good about the good old days, that life is way better now-a-days. I don't have to work so hard." This is a reminder to me to remember the past but also look forward to the good that can come!
There are more hidden symbols, can you find them all? To me they represent the mystery that unfolds throughout our lives.
When I started this art, I didn't really have a clear plan. I knew I wanted to use old photographs and collage them, but the outcome was uncertain. When I started adding paint, my vision kept changing and I ended up with a landscape and some of the under layers became blurred. I don't know if the symbols stand out to an onlooker, but they are strong in my own mind and heart. Looking through all of the photographs was a wonderfully emotional time for me. I sure do miss the good old days with my grandparents, but feel positively fortunate to have my own little family and my parents with me for another year!
A layer of cheese cloth and a quote.
Some tissue paper.
Adding some old family photographs.
My colour palette. My first attempt at using oil paint that is water soluble and light modeling paste (gel medium) to add texture. The different textures of the cheese cloth and the very smooth collaged areas made painting a real challenge. I used plastic canvas and modeling paste to create texture that would make the very smooth shiny areas less evident and blend into the cheese cloth non-shiny texture. This is also the largest canvas I have painted on, so now I am feeling brave enough to keep painting on large canvases.
I have two other canvases to finish up and then I am going to trying a new technique inspired by a new book I received as a Christmas gift called, Brave Intuitive Painting, Let Go. Be Bold. Unfold, by Flora Bowley.
Wish me luck!
|My mom looking for the hidden symbols.|