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Stepping up the gold aspect

A few weeks ago I met a woman who lives in the same village as me and since we got on well was invited around to her house for a chat and cup of tea, as women do! And whilst I was there of course I was interested in the artwork and decor of the house, what interested her, as I always am when I go to peoples houses…

One of the things that was in the house, was a Chinese screen, and I wowed over it, as I love Chinese artwork, and have been to Hong Kong twice, and the Chinese mainland twice…. she explained that her Mum, who she lives with, had lived in Hong Kong and had bought it whilst there and now had it in her house here in England. I had a good look at it, which was difficult as there was a large TV infront of it, as well as other things, so I couldn’t see all of it, but I knew I really wanted to see more of it, it was incredibly inspiring and drew me to it! We chatted for three hours about all sorts of things, and I knew I had the start of a new friendship, and would see more of my new friend as soon as we could arrange it… I mentioned a few days later how much I loved the screen and wanted to do a painting inspired by it, and she very kindly sent me some photos of it, as none of the screen can be seen in one go, its a large screen with 6 panels, that have to be set up as a VVV shape obviously to make it stand up.

For me to even start working out what was in it I had to do a basic pencil drawing on paper to work out what was in it, and how they were situated…it had a large magnolia tree in it, some rocks, some flowers, quite a few birds, and a gorgeous gold coloured background to it all.

I told my friend I wanted to do a painting based on the essence of the screen, not an exact copy, which was difficult to do anyway because of the VVV shape!

I also knew that there was a strong chance that I would be doing more than one working painting of the painting, for my benefit to see how that progressed as a concept..

My first working painting was done with a gold background, the tree, and various birds flying around it – all the birds were in the screen picture but I moved some of them around to better positions for my working painting.

When I did that I did another working painting but this one had the rocks at the bottom, the trunk of the tree, and hint of branches, some flowers, and the two pheasants on a rock – all of which were in the screen picture but not so tightly together as my painting showed.

I was happy with both the working paintings but they had two different characters, one more feminine (the tree and flying birds) and one more masculine (the rocks, tree trunk, two pheasants).

Yesterday my new friend came to my house for the first time, and met my husband, saw my artwork, and whilst she was here I showed her the two working paintings for her reaction…she liked them both, but she preferred one more than the other, the feminine one that I did first, and she has commissioned me to do a proper version on canvas… which I am delighted to do…

I love the Chinese screen, I love the artwork on it, and I will love painting it for the person who owns it….

But I’ll do it my way too…not an exact copy, but the essence of it….