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Universal flow

As it’s been a while since I did a proper painting, one from start to finish, with all the thought process’s that are involved with it, so I didn’t expect it to be easy. When I say “proper painting” I don’t mean one where I am just copying  a basic scene from a photo, I mean one where I am designing it, based on a photograph but with other items and concepts as part of the picture, a whole I D E A of  a painting, and that is all before I start to paint it – the painting part is certainly the production of the creation – but the idea and concept is the biggest part by far. I always say that painting a picture is only one tenth of producing it. And an awful lot of work goes into painting it! So that shows how much depth of thought also goes behind that.

I hadn’t got a much of an idea when I started thinking about it – I was more concerned about how I was going to capture the look on her face. She has a physically beautiful face, but she also has different expressions within it, and there was one in particular that I wanted to replicate. The one where she looks like she’s lost in enigmatic sultry thoughts. Lost in her own world. Or perhaps she’s dancing to her own tune then… either way, that was the look I wanted. I knew it would be a portrait, but perhaps not a traditional one. As I drew out some ideas in pencil, the concept slowly built up as it came to me. To draw her and her lovely dark curly hair, almost as an entity in itself when it’s loose around her shoulders. The flowing hair transported her to another dimension…..

And that was when the title came to me “The girl with the universe in her hair” – so from then on it was easy to work with that idea and to build shapes and colours within it. I knew I wanted a star within the picture, an explosion of a sun lighting up the vast Heavens. And planets, suspended within space and time, passing along their journey, nine of them.   Her hair floating out,strands of it flowing away, and her hand gently passing on its power, adding to the magical effect. And lots of colour.

So, that was the start of the idea that I worked with, and all I had to do was paint it! I decided to use watercolours for it, as they lend themselves so well to fantasy, magic and mystery, and as the painting progressed and I needed more depth of colour I used gouache for the smokey effects and the whites I needed for the planets and star. There is also a lot of splatter within the picture, around her hair and face and hands – to give movement to the image. And there is magic within it.

There is also a sort of joke within it – when you see the placing of one the planets.

I finished it late last night,  delaying my dinner time by a few hours to complete it as I was so rapt with the image and the way the painting was flowing, and as I opened the door to the brightly lit hall way, and switched the light off in my studio, leaving the room in semi darkness I glanced back at the painting propped up leaning against the wall and stopped dead in my tracks and returned to check what I had seen in a split second.

It was a complete image, even in virtual darkness. That’s a good sign. It means the tones are right, the focal point is right, the picture works.

I left the room with a big grin on my face.

I’ve got it back.

I’ve got it back, but it’s better. 

2 thoughts on “Universal flow”

  1. Curvaceous Dee

    Jackie, that painting is awesome! Love the life, the fluidity, and the beauty in it (and I spotted that errant planet, too).

    Great stuff!

    xx Dee

  2. Jackie Adshead

    Curvaceous Dee – Thankyou!!!! I love it too, glad to hear it's had such a positive effect!

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