Scratchings 5: But I am waiting for the paint to dry!

Spoiler: I Wish There Were Dinosaurs by Amanda Niland

Uh oh, its July. Where did that come from?

Finally the kids are at school and the house is mine, well, almost. One sleeping husband, dare not wake him. He’s meant to be at work but he is recovering from a night of numerous call outs (enthusiastic surgeons to blame). He will have a late start.

Anyway, it means that the noisy housework has to wait and now I have no excuses about heading to the studio and getting on with some work. Funny how I can manage to put it off. It isn’t a horrible job, I just love it but until I get there it seems so hard to get my head around it sometimes.

This week my oldest son, 19, has flown off to Queensland for the National Australian Music Educators Conference. His first major conference and his first solo flight. He is there as Tasmania’s Young Composer, selected to represent his state and to attend workshops with a composer in residence on the Gold Coast. Lucky him, it’s hailing here and freezing.

I am very proud of him, as any Mum would be. He rang earlier and I asked how his concert had gone,  the Gold coast Philharmonic Orchestra had played his and the other representatives compositions last night in a public concert. Sadly, he is the only young composer without family attending to hear the work but he is also the oldest rep and we were just unable to go.  I get to hear a recording soon, I hope. We had a discussion about how it is often disappointing how others interpret your work  (not that his went badly). We discussed the processes and levels involved in creating an art work and how, to the creator, the process itself is a complete experience on its own, regardless of the finished product that others may get to indulge in.  He composes for its pure pleasure. I draw and paint also for the indulgent sensation it gives me, something that the viewer will never experience or often be aware of.

Today I am painting giraffes and dinosaurs, the front cover of a new book written by Amanda Niland. I’m having fun. I am using a new medium, well, I have used it for drawing but not for painting. The wonderful intense colour of ink and the lovely transparent layers it creates over the grey

pastel paper I have chosen for this project, something new again.

It is perhaps like taking a drug. The sensations it creates are not necessarily physical but I don’t know any other way to describe them. Watching what happens as you overlay, blend, and dab away, having an idea in your head what you want to have happen and seeing the picture take on a life of its own. It is like having a high but a sensible one. It is quite amazing. Often you think you are failing but then, just one more line, colour or tone brings it into a place that makes it leap from the page and that wonderful sensation returns.

With this book, I am venturing into a brave new world. I love texture and colour and so using ink on pastel paper has thrown me out of my comfort zone. I always like to put a lot of effort into my roughs, allowing them to evolve and be changed but keeping them as finished as possible and then transferring them using a light box to the watercolour paper I usually use. To throw a spanner in the works I never considered the lack of transparency of the paper I have chosen, it is grey and textured so the light box doesn’t work. I have decided to re-draw the images directly onto the page, allowing them to continue to grow and change as I move through the book.

So, like my musician son, I get a total buzz out of my creations. I get a decent sense of satisfaction when the finished book arrives and seeing the whole ‘product’ come together but  this process of bringing it to life with images, light and colour is the best. I wish I could bottle it and share it with you…

So, I write my blog today while waiting for the paint  ink to dry. The excuse that the kids always gave in art class for not getting on with their work. But even the drying process is a thrill, as each layer is applied it brings with it new textures and depth of colour, often unpredicted, that can only been seen once the impatient time of waiting occurs.

So, until next time, enjoy waiting for your paint to dry…..


This entry was published on July 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Scratchings 5: But I am waiting for the paint to dry!

  1. You realise that people like me who can only draw stick figures are extremely jealous:) It all sounds wonderful.

    • Oh Kaye, I’m sure you are brilliant at something I totally fail at (beleive me, your list is fairly unlimited in that, I suck at a lot of stuff) Keep at it with the stick figures though, I have noticed that if you are good at them there are lots of phone apps that require them. Happy day 🙂 Christina

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