IN THE STUDIO V.5
In my last IN THE STUDIO post (read V.4 here), I spoke about a painting that I recently came back to, "Jellyfish in Blue". It was something that I started years ago and it never felt right or finished. I determined that what was throwing me off, was the background. A graceful ocean creature on top of a fiery background. Nope, it was too much contrast.
For the past couple of weeks I've been reworking the background, without too much success. I kept using the same colour palette: naples yellow mixed with manganese blue hue, hookers green, paynes grey, portrait tone, light and dark turquoise – not all at once of course, but all mixed with various shades of warm, buff, zinc, unbleached and titanium white. I depleted my white supply on this background. The new palette felt right. I just didn't know how I wanted to paint it. The jellyfish is the star of this painting, the background needed simplicity.
"Jellyfish in Blue" 30" x 48", acrylic on canvas ––– Before
Divine inspiration Crossed legged I sat yesterday, staring at this thing. Should I scrap it and paint over it? I try my best to live by the motto: if something isn't working, change it...or throw it away. Knowing when to leave is important. I didn't want to say goodbye to my giant jellyfish though. And then my gaze caught my Gaudí inspired Arior Barcelona ring, a present from my husband Ryan, given to me in August during our Barcelona trip. For our 2nd year anniversary we bought tickets for one of the Magic Nights at Casa Batlló. I fell in love with that ring at the gift shop. We toured Gaudí's Casa Batlló and as the sun disappeared, we enjoyed drinks on the terrace, with a live musical performance. It was an incredible night.
A few pictures from Magic Nights at Casa Batlló. If you have a chance go – GO, and read about this here.
Finished at last
My ring, like the glass over the mosaic tile at the Casa Batlló, reminds me of water. It suddenly clicked, I knew that I'd be able to finish this painting. Off I went to get my supplies ready.
"Jellyfish in Blue" 30" x 48", acrylic on canvas ––– After
It's not something where you can point out the inspiration. "Jellyfish in Blue", doesn't look like a mosaic or anything Gaudí related. Some inspirations can make a mental picture clearer – it gets you into the right flow, gives a vision, and a point of reference.
In the jellyfish, I placed together strokes of light blue, dark blue, almost black, with white, yellow, and a pinkish, peach hue. Colours that were similar to what I saw at Casa Batlló. The original jellyfish had more of a blended, watercolour-like feel. I wanted this jellyfish to be bolder. The background needed to be subtle. Not necessarily water, more like when you're in the ocean and you see all of the colour and light reflected off the water, but more abstract. Hopefully that comes across.
Blog post fini
For the next IN THE STUDIO, I'll be finishing up my "Manarola" painting from my Cinque Terre series. Perhaps I'll have a finished piece ready to show soon. Fingers and eyes crossed. That's it for now. Thanks for reading.
If you like my Gaudí ring, check out Arior Barcelona's website at: www.arior.dk. Beautiful stuff.