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.