When I began trying my hand at whimsy, or ‘whimsical realism’ as “Danger” (Jane Davenport) likes to call it :), I was overwhelmed and totally out of my depth and comfort zone. I’d been used to working with likenesses, and in my digital work especially, a form of realism.
Changing to whimsy just felt all, well… wrong. But over time I’ve come to enjoy it immensely. It’s still a huge challenge, some work better than others, but the thing about an altered book is to encourage. “Look, it’s not perfect. It’s ok to take risks. It’s ok to make mistakes. They don’t have to be masterpieces to be fun and expressive.”
Seasons was great fun to do as I love the colours of autumn and particularly love that poem by Keats. Winter on the other hand gave me LOTS of problems. Below is a look at something of my progress. Every painting has its “ugly stage”. It’s very easy to give up at that stage and work on something else. To do so however, means losing valuable learning and process.
If that doesn’t convince everyone to keep going nothing will lol. Winter was based on a painting I did a while back.
So of course looking at winter in those early stages and comparing her to A Modern Madonna, was not a happy process. But if you don’t try, experiment, and push beyond limits… how do you learn? What I realised from working on a larger version of this rather delicate face (almost 3 times the size of Madonna), is that some faces need to be smaller, to emphasise their delicateness. Delicacy is lost in the larger version. Does that mean that winter was a failure? I don’t think so. I think it was a great learning curve for me. She’s not perfect, but she is pretty and I am happy with the creases and folds – something that I find quite difficult at times. Is MM perfect? Nope, I can see some important nuances I left out. Another painter will spot it immediately.
It had been so long since I had incorporated collage, and never in quite this detailed and fiddly way, I was surprised and thrilled with the result. So darn pleased… I forgot the shadows that would occur around her face because of the jewel and the head veil! Painting 101!!! Does that mean she’s a failure? If the comments on FAA are anything to go by, not at all. But yes, it does irritate me and at some point I will go back and address that particular oversight, but for now I’m still pretty amazed at how she turned out.
So don’t give up. Remember, at the very worst, if it really doesn’t work (ie please you!) you can always cut/tear it for collage and turn into something completely different. Till then, put it aside for a while and come back to it later when you’re not so invested in a ‘result’. Wish I’d taken that advice over time 🙂
Happy creating till next time.