Thursday, June 9, 2016

In the Night Garden

In the Night Garden, 12 x 12", mixed media

I requested a digital audio recorder for my birthday this year, and I received it! The wish came to me as I have been creating small paintings illustrating how the seven (most famous, Western) modes connect with the seven chakras, or energy centers in the body. Last year I made a series of small paintings about these seven musical modes. They were part of my Recollection show last summer. At times during the exhibit's tenure, I would take my harp down to the MS Rezny Studio/Gallery and perform little impromptu mode renditions. Something clicked and I began to develop musical thoughts as I created new paintings.

This has opened new avenues for paintings as well. It works both ways. I think about music and paintings appear in my mind's eye. I was enchanted by the scene, In the Night Garden as we were returning to Pineapple Hill Inn Bed & Breakfast after a splendid dinner. It was a gentle night and the blue was so soft; the red umbrellas bright accents. The heron statuary stood guard over the burbling koi pond. I knew I wanted to make a painting and I wanted to make music, too.

I looked around for a support to make a painting; a painting more inspired by feeling than truthiness. Bending down to check on my prepared boards (watercolor paper affixed to 1/4" birch plywood) I spotted a board which had been "deckled" by our first dog, Carly. I think she liked the clay-based wallpaper paste that I use to attach the paper. Around two edges, there was a half-inch to inch gap in the paper.  I decided to experiment and brushed gesso on the bare board. Since working with children on an art project earlier this year, I have been keen on Cray-Pas Junior Artist Oil Pastels. I started coloring in my image with those, to use as a resist to layers of watercolor. I worked back and forth between the Cray-Pas and the watercolor, adding layers of watercolor as needed to bring a velvety darkness to the scene. I discovered that the watercolor and Cray-Pas would not sufficiently cover the gessoed areas, so the big guns were called in: I used Sennelier oil pastels generously, as it turned out, over the whole painting. I am a believer in using what is necessary to bring about what I envision. This worked.
After I finished the painting, I propped it up and started playing on the harp, letting the imagery inspire my music. There is a link to the music below if you would like to have a listen.


 In the Night Garden on SoundCloud

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