Recontextualising botanical art through sound, publishing and painting. We welcome guest writers and editors for both this blog and our new newspaper called INKQ. If you have an idea you can connect with Inky Leaves by following the links in the banner below.
After struggling somewhat with the concept of this rather over sized Money Plant I think I might have finally found some ground on which to tread. I often find that with botanical art, one can feel very lost at the start, because the painting looks so weak and empty with only a few washes on it. It's easy to become disheartened at the beginning. When I begin a piece I am usually full of optimism, excitement and hope. However, only after a few days of painting this feeling of elation is quickly replaced by feelings of despair and frustration when the leaves and flowers still look far from reaching the intensity I had originally desired to capture. So yes, during those first few weeks of embarking on a new piece I often feel like I am treading water. It's like being thrown in the deep end of a pool; but after a while we all begin to do a doggy paddle. For me, I find this moment inevitably comes when I have painted the first bit of the painting to its richest most complete phase, which unsurprisingly has been the case here. I nailed a leaf and that made me feel good, spurring me onto another.
Working in the studio yesterday
However, this piece is a little unusual in that it does not come with a planned composition. Although I don't do sketchbook work, I usually have an inkling of where I am going and a general idea of how I want the plant to look on the page. Mork, however, didn't come with a manual. After struggling with getting the right paper and the fact that I couldn't see his trunk very well meant I really had NO IDEA on which road to take. In the end I decided to take no road and just go walking in the wilderness, blindfolded.
Progress on Morph the Money Plant
So what I am trying to say here is that just painting one 'good' leaf was not enough to make me feel grounded at all - I needed more, and yesterday, whilst roaming around in the wildness with Radio 6 blaring it's tunes out in the background, I found a new trail. First of all, he's been renamed. Secondly I intend to do only five limited edition prints. Thirdly I am going to be applying at least one new medium on the prints after they have been printed and lastly the final piece, I reckon, will be a triptych. I might need to do a bit of sketchbook work for the last course of action, but I will only do that once I have gained more ground, so I had better get on with it.