Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Reiki Master Said to Go Home and Paint Yellow

Embracing yellow, musing about ideas running through the inside of the brain, experimenting. That’s what is going on during my lunch hour. Trying to learn how to make drawings and paintings of people look kind of realistic by using Jane Davenport’s techniques, and trying to make them kind of pretty but unique, quirky and interesting.
This piece started out as a randomly painted piece of deli paper…mostly yellow acrylic with strokes of red, orange and white. Twelve years ago, when I was having some serious health issues, I went for reiki treatments since conventional medicine wasn't helping much.  My reiki master told me to “go home and paint yellow.” I did go home and paint yellow then, and found it very freeing and healing.
I never forgot about the simple truth of the reiki master giving me "permission" to use my favorite color. I had been trying to stay away from colors right out of the tube, trying to be more urban and sophisticated in my color choices. I later realized, in the line made famous by Popeye, that "I yam what I yam" and that I should embrace my artistic instincts. Once again, I am following her instructions and using lots of yellow.

First, I sketched a face outline using an Artistcellar JaneDavenport face stencil and a prismacolor pencil. Next, following the advice on Jane's DVD about Whimsical Faces, I painted the face with a flesh-tone acrylic and added some pinks on the cheekbone and lips.
Then I brightened up the features with more pronounced cheeks, lips and eyes and added white accent strokes and added flowing lines to indicate hair. I debated about stopping here, but decided to push on and see what developed.
I wanted to make the hair more interesting so I painted it white and added some dots—somehow I always feel inclined to add dots. I also am inclined to make swirly spiral lines. These shapes probably have some deep-rooted psychological meaning, but I have no idea what it would be. Again, I considered stopping at this point, but felt the need to push on and fill in the empty spaces.
The piece called out for words, so I used the negative space between the hair to write—first with a pencil and then with a sharpie—the thoughts that were going through my mind. Random thoughts…some big, some small. Some heavy, some light. Things I wonder about daily and wonder about occasionally. And mostly things that have no answer.

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