Since overpainting the “Naked desire” painting in oils the other week and being astounded at the vast and improved difference from the original acrylic painting of it, I’ve been wondering if there are any other paintings I’ve got that I can give the same treatment to. And lo and behold – there is! ………..
Early last year I painted a watercolour of a white horse in a bluebell wood, and although it was exhibited a couple of times locally, I didn’t sell the painting. And looking at it now I’m not at all surprised! Its a very mediocre painting, of a mediocre subject with no depth of tone to it and nothing exciting happening within the painting. So, when I cast my eye on it last week, after looking through my dusty file of old paintings (filed under “not good enough to frame and too good to throw away”) it struck me straight away what I wanted to do to it to change it. Wow. Instant idea! So, I did a little pencil thumbnail sketch , showing where the strong tones were going to be, and where I was adding the interest and got on with the painting of it. And d’you know what???? ……..I think its one of the best paintings I’ve ever done! I’m mesmerised with the result! I can’t believe how MUCH better it is from the original. Its astounded and totally amazed me! And it was me who painted it!! But just incase I was getting too carried away, and to get a second opinion, I showed it to my spiritual healer friend, since the subject matter is now two unicorns and not a single horse as before, and unicorns is very much her subject (as she’s writing a book on the subject and I’m going to illustrate it for her when she’s finished writing it). So, I took my new painting along to show her, unveiled it and waited for the response (and if it had been crap, she’d have definitely told me!) and she sat there, and looked at it, and looked at it and when she eventually tore her eyes away from looking at it, she announced that it was probably the best painting of mine that she’d seen. Ok, then, she likes it!!! YAY! LOL. So, we both sat there looking at it in companionable silence when she said “There’s a THIRD unicorn in there” and just as she said it, I could see it too, she didn’t need to point out where, it was there, if you knew where to look. HUGE WOW!!!! I’ve painted a “magic” picture, something with such a wonderful piece of serendipity in it, that within the paint techniques, I’ve inadvertently painted a secret unicorn. How wonderful is that!? (I’ve done it before but it was some years ago, and strangely enough that was with fantasy horses!) And even more amazingly upon the back of the hidden unicorn is a shadowy figure, possibly of a woman in medieval dress. How lovely. This morning my spiritual healer friend informed me that to her the shadowy woman is a Sylph, a beautiful and mysterious fairy-like spirit of the air. Wow again!
And you know what, the best bit is – last week through my spiritual healer friend I cleared a whole load of negativity that was forming around me, and almost immediately afterwards I started this unicorn painting and knew EXACTLY how I wanted to paint it, and how it was going to look. And it looks EXACTLY the way I envisaged it. EXACTLY. And this morning my spiritual healer friend informed me that looking at my painting has inspired her for the next part of her unicorn book. Isn’t that wonderful, when creativity begets creativity, and the circle is complete.
Anyway, before you think I’ve lost the plot completely – look at these two paintings and see if you think the same as me – one of them has magic and a mystical feel to it, the other is ….well…. boring!
The new painting is called “Love at first sight” because the two unicorns are obviously meeting for the first time in a glade in the forest. The sunlight filters down between the trees, casting patches of light and shadow. I used mostly strong Eygpt Violet and deep Touareg Blue for the darks, and added Viridian Green and Quinacridone Gold for the interesting depth of the mid tones, and using a white and warm cream gouache for the unicorns and patches of bright light. There is a pale ethereal light around the unicorn on the right, as it trots into view, out of the light. The focal point is the unicorn on the left, since the light is pointing at it, but the trees and branches point towards the right hand unicorn too, whilst the mossy hillock with the three tree trunks in the middle of the painting is splitting up the painting, showing the distance between the unicorns, but because of the way the painting is constructed, you know they’re going to go and nuzzle each other in a minute…..
And to add as a postscript – I don’t know if you’ll see the secret unicorn here as the image isn’t of the best quality for loading onto blogger – but if you look carefully, its in the top right hand side corner of the painting.