When we were invited to exhibit in the Marriage show I wanted to come up with a way that Vinod and I could tie our work together other than the incidental ties our art has as a result of our relationship as artists over the past 20 (!) years. I didn't want to just hang whatever it was that we had been working on lately and call it a day. We don't really collaborate on artwork other than offering each other critiques and we definitely don't work on the same painting together. (I don't know how Leo and Diane Dillon did it!)
Last fall, Vinod had painted a personal piece called "The Green Man." I was looking at it hanging on the wall in our studio one evening and decided that I could do a companion piece that would complement his painting and form the centerpiece of our wall at the Marriage is a Work of Art show.
"Children of the Forest" embodies many of the themes I explore in my work: mythology, folk tales, and nature and animals seen through a fantasy lens.
|I knew the story I wanted to tell, but as I drew, other elements I did not plan in advance developed organically, like her flower "heart."|
When we moved into our house two years ago, we set up our studio in a room facing our backyard which is adjacent to a woodsy green belt. Squirrels and many species of birds visit our feeders and bird bath visible from the window in front of my desk. This is the first time we've lived in a house with a window looking out onto so much wildlife activity. I love it. For "Children of the Forest" I decided to paint some of the birds that visit us I and picked a dogwood tree like the one in our yard for the dryad.
|A little over a day into the painting.|
|A close up of the dryad's face.|
|Deciding the crop of the finished painting using the mat.|
|This is pretty typical of the way my table looks during a project.|
The title of this painting comes from a book I was referring to for bark textures, moss and general forest imagery called Secrets of the Old Growth Forest. Most of the time I was working I had the book open to a page with a photo of the massive trunk of a cedar tree. When I was finished and it was time for me to come up with a title for my piece, I happened to glance over at the open book and saw that the chapter title was "Children of the Forest." I thought it expressed the theme of my painting perfectly.
|The final piece.|
|The framed paintings side by side.|