Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Art for Africa ~ Soak Up My Atmosphere, a Painting about Abundance

It's after midnight, so officially today is Thanksgiving. There are 2 1/2 days left on the Charity auction at the time of this writing. I thought it was appropriate to share about the painting above, which points to blessing and abundance. 

This painting was created as another class assignment for Unlocking the Heart of the Artist. In this exercise, we were to focus on a verse in Psalms and simply let ourselves flow with God in a time of spontaneous art or whatever our creative expression happened to, dance, etc. I chose to paint at my easel. I began with a canvas I had previously covered with texture paste and painted. I didn't like how the old painting turned out, but I really liked the texture. So I knew this was perfect for this project. 

At that time, I was really drawn to the symbolism of fish, which I immediately associate with abundance. A famous biblical example is when Jesus multiplied the little boy's lunch of a few loaves and fishes and fed an entire multitude of hungry people. And afterwards, there were still baskets of food left over. 

I also had a dream about fish floating around me, like thoughts or creative ideas. It's funny because when I look at the finished painting, in some ways it suggest the top of a colorful brain within the swirl of fish and DNA strands. The silver accents add to that idea of "gray matter." 

One fish, two fish, RED fish, blue fish
The original composition was inspired by a rough sketch I did during a prayer time with friends (including kids), which contained words and phrases written in a free flow of thought. The childlike drawing was made with crayons and markers. Here's the original:

When I prayed about what to do for the class assignment, I felt I was to use this sketch as the jumping off point. I spent at least eight to nine hours on this painting, bringing out the mass of flapping fish swimming in swirling waters. The texture paste really suggested the movement of water and ripples. 

Detail of texture
I see many hidden things in the picture. My husband saw a hidden shark amongst the fish. I also see that some of the shapes suggest kernels of wheat, too. Maybe another visual of loaves and fishes? I'm not sure. 

The colorful varieties of fish also remind me of humanity, and how we come in different colors and shapes and personalities. This work is finished off with a black edge and "grungy" frame style...another couple hours worth of work. 

At 14x11 inches, it's a nice mid-sized work. We displayed it in the dining room for the past year and it received a lot of compliments. Different details stand out depending on the light or time of day, as some of the paint has a metallic or pearlized quality. 

You can bid on this painting here, or see the other paintings here

I've shared in-depth about two other paintings in the charity auction: