Woman with Red Winged Blackbird is my new painting of the week. It’s actually a redo of a painting I did in 2015. While painting my mom in the canoe a few weeks ago, I realized that over time, I’ve gotten a little better at faces; so, I pulled out this older painting and ended up redoing most of it. I feel like her face works a bit better. I then decided to change the crow and make him a red winged blackbird. I took a bit of artistic license as you don’t usually see them at birdbaths. Their habitat is in fields close to water. I used to see them all the time when I was a park ranger leading tours on trails through the marshes.
I’ve admired the works of the Pre-Raphaelite painters of Victorian England who rebelled from the style at the time by painting women with long flowing hair using rich, vivid colors in natural settings. I remember seeing some of their paintings at the Tate Gallery in London back in my early 20’s and being moved by the large size and richness of colors. This painting is a nod to that style.
There Goes My Shadowis a painting I blogged about a year and a half ago that I recently reworked. Last month as I began the recent painting Moonlit Dove and Sunlit Crow, I took a look at this older painting because of the similar theme of dealing with the shadow. I realized then that the painting looked weak.
I have added more color and contrast to to help pop out the fall colors and I also reworked the girl’s face. My painting teacher used to have us do an exercise of painting in a darkened room since it would naturally force us to use more contrast with the lights and darks. It was a helpful lesson and it came to mind as I looked back that this painting. I think it works better now.
Lately with the US Presidential election season heating up, I’ve been thinking about the collective shadow. Psychologist Carl Jung termed the shadow as the unowned negative parts of ourselves that we tend to project on others. Here are a few quotes on the shadow:
Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with darkness in other people. – Carl Jung
Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. – Carl Jung
Both light and shadow are the dance of love.- Rumi
These past few weeks I’ve been trying to look at my own shadow. It has been painful but I’m feeling stronger now, more centered. I wanted to do a painting about the shadow and the light that comes from releasing our fears. There Goes My Shadow is the result.
Woman with Dove and Lilies is my most recent painting. I’ve worked on it off and on throughout this rainy week. It’s pouring now as I write. Next week they say the sun will be coming back, I think everyone here in Atlanta is more than ready for that. I’ll put this print up in my Circles Round the Sun Etsy Shop under my portrait section. I’m off now to start a new painting, hope all are enjoying the weekend!