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Being creative with the essence of the Chinese gold screen

I mentioned a few weeks ago about me wanting to paint a picture based on the essence of the Chinese gold screen I saw at a friends house in the village I live in.

My initial problem was that I couldn’t see all of the screen in one go, I could only see parts of it, so it took me a while to work out all the lovely aspects in it, it had a large Magnolia tree in the middle, and rocks at the bottom, and pheasant, Chrysanthymum type flowers in red, and white, and various birds flying around it, or sitting in its branches. The whole background was in a gorgeous flat gold that shone and made the tree and the birds stand out beautifully,

When I wanted to do my interpretation of this beautiful piece of art, I didn’t want to copy it exactly, it was already painted beautifully, but what I wanted to do was capture the essence of the painting…and to me the essence was the gold background, solid dark of the tree trunk and branches, the white of the magnolia flowers and the birds flying around it or sitting in the branches.

So that was what I painted….

My painting is on canvas, painted in acrylics, including metallic gold paint, but the gold paint has more movement within it coming from the right hand side and on a diagonal down towards the left. I’ve created more of an essence of the tree too especially with the branches on the lower part, and all the birds featured in my painting are in the Chinese screen actual painting, but not all in exactly the same place as I’ve placed them, it was more artistic licence on my behalf!! I was also asked by the client to make the Magnolia flowers have lilac coloured centres rather than the pink in the original painting…

The painting is called “Blue bird tree”…for obvious reasons….

And I will also add that this painting was commissioned by a client for her Mum for Mothers Day, as a delightful surprise…the Chinese screen was bought in Hong Kong by her Mum, and has for many years had pride of place in her house. This painting I am told exactly captured the essence of the screen, as I hoped, and has been hung on the wall in the same room as the Chinese screen.. so thats made me very happy to know that the client, and her Mum, and I, have all been connected by the beautiful Chinese screen and my interpretation of it, in this painting…..