For some time I have followed the Monthly Painting Challenge. Watching all the fantastic paintings that are produced. And I thought to myself on more than one occasion how much I wanted to do something like that. How much I could learn and develop, and be part of a painting community.
And then last month I saw a call put out if people wanted to join in. And I immediately said yes. And then as soon as I hit send I wonder what on earth I had done. The art that is produced in this group is so good, who was I to think I was good enough to be included. But I was also super freaking excited, to go along with the vomit-inducing fear. So all in all, a good sign I am pushing my boundaries.
And today is the big reveal. The challenge this month was opposites. And I played with a few different ideas, but I decided on opposite colours and planned out a sketch, and then decided to finish a painting first that I had already started at the start of the year.
And as that painting developed, it became my “opposite” painting. Not the painting I had in mind, but whenever I got stuck, and this whole painting had had me stuck, I thought about what was the opposite. So I decided on bright orange hair, and then that didn’t work with the background I had, so I turned the background blue. Her face was bugging me, and so I wonder what was the most unlike (or opposite) thing for me to do, that was most unlike me, and I saw antlers growing out of her head. Something I had always wanted to do, but I had only tried once on an ATC and it looked ridiculous. And so to do it on a painting?? But I did. And it was okay.
And then I decided that the colours of the antlers should be yellow rather than white, and to try some purple shading.
And it was about then that I realised I was painting an “opposite” painting. And this was going to be the painting I contributed.
The more I looked the more I saw a hand holding a shell, but hands are not my forte. Not even a little, and I was now planning on submitting this to an accomplished group of artists, so I decided not to include any strange mutations. But I couldn’t get the hand out of my head, so sketched a hand looking at my own in the mirror. And shells. And made my daughter pose about 11 times with a shell so I could see her hand shape. And it is still munted. But the basic shape is there I think. And this is meant to be a challenge after all. (The hand has been redrawn and repainted more times than I could tell you, and a few times I did just want to scrub it all out and cover it back up with paint, because really who would know??)
But here she is. And I love her. I love her eyes. Strong knowing eyes I think. There are hours and hours that are on this canvas. Different faces and backgrounds and layers of things I was going through. Some total crap. But now I have an antler girl. And as I stood staring at her, and watching her listen to the ocean in the shell the title “Finding new whispers” came to me. And so that is the title.
And this is my entry!
And a close up…