Stage 1 – Sketching and base washes
This piece began with listening to an inspired thought. I was going forward with the intuition to let the work create itself. A new illustration technique arrived in my mind. I think I was vacuuming at the time.
I saw the face, and I saw the kindness and the strength within the eyes simultaneously. I didn’t worry about the challenge, although I wanted to. I wanted to commit to stepping back, and let the work develop itself. I assured myself it was just an experiment in trying. Lets see what happens.
Stage 2 – Sketching Hair, Adding Washes and Detail
We moved on to the hair. This was created by sketching and adding washes. This stage enforces patience. It feels like a thousand strokes, and with the right focus, can also be a meditation. It’s interesting how much I wanted to know the “outcome”, as if commiting to trusting that step by step process depended on if I liked the final work. I found this quite similar to life in many ways. The temptation is not to take a risk that involves your inner knowingness and time, unless you have an advanced guarantee of the outcome you hope for. In this case, I didn’t. And most work can take up to sixty hours.
Painting the Peals (of Wisdom).
I have never worked with pearls in an image, and this was fun.
Pearls represent calmness and centeredness. They also represent faith, loyalty, truth, purity, and personal integrity. Pearls of wisdom. Something was cooking here…..
Stage 4 – Peonies and Butterflies
The next time I sat down to work, the flower arrived in my mind, and the butterflies. Peonies represent riches and honor. Butterflies represent change, hope and transformation.
Then the work became quite. Was it done? Was it finished? I wanted it to be, I wanted to move on, but…I wasn’t sure. I left it up where i could see it. I would peek at it from time to time while I cooked or cleaned. At times I would sit looking at it. Nothing. All was quiet. It wasn’t done and I didn’t know why.
Days passed and I started a new illustration. I checked back, but still, there was no “green light” feeling. I had no inspiration for a next step, still I trusted that it just wasn’t finished.
While working on something else, I saw this illustration in my mind, and the next inspiration arrived. Her baby. And just like babies, we are not exactly sure when inspiration will arrive, but it will.
All that is represented here is about the challenges of trusting ourselves, trusting our inner compass. It’s about approaching each moment with the faith of a child, and caring for our faith as if we were our own children. It requires loyalty, truth, and personal integrity. It also requires patience, perseverance and a great sense of humor.
I think not knowing the outcome was worth the endeavor, and I am pleased. Which also includes the ability to celebrate ourselves. – Thank you.
This is “Mother and Child”