For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed I kind of disappeared for a week or so. It’s been happening more and more frequently that I’ll get hit hard by multiple things at once and it gets overwhelming, especially considering that “normal” now is very, very, very far from normal. 2020 man. Wtf.
At any rate, during that week long journey inward I also had a rush commission to get out. I’ve noticed that the pieces I get commissioned to do and even the pieces that I choose to make on my own end up mirroring exactly what I’m going through in my life. So as I work on the piece and figure out what it needs I work through the issues I’m dealing with in my real life and as the end product becomes clearer so do the issues and the solutions in my real life.
This piece though. Man. It was big. It was detailed. And I hadn’t quite yet figured out exactly what I want to do. I had never done anything like this prior. He had set up the initial commission a few weeks ago, but I requested to have a few extra time to complete it. It wasn’t due until the middle of September. But he messaged last Monday panicking and needed it within a week. And all I had done was the initial art and the tracing on the board.
So despite my own personal hell I said yes and trucked on through. I started with the woodburning. It took a bit. My hand gets shaky when I’m stressed so this was fricken tough. And that text literally had me pulling my hair out. But I nailed it.
And from there came the carving. I wanted the background to be fluid and show movement. Almost like a stream or galaxy.
From their came the color. It was interesting because I kind of had an idea of what I wanted but also I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted. So there was a ton of trial and error. But I settled on a red and yellow phoenix, a sunset background, and then some cosmic accents on top of it. The idea is that the phoenix is rising from the muck to a new day to be reborn. Something I personally was doing that week. So I suppose that it is no coincidence that I had a bit of a struggle getting it the way I wanted it. In my real life, I had no idea where I was going, other than I was consumed by grief, and in this painting? No idea either.
Lately something new I’ve been doing is using an herbal blend base for my washes. Essentially, I’ll make a an herbal blend that embodies the energy of the piece, make a kind of “tea” out of it, and use that as the wash/base to apply my water color. It’s been working out amazing and the piece is then completely smothered in beautiful energy and magic! Something that I love incorporating into my art in any way that I can.