Monday, February 28, 2011

Look to the Middle

Kelli here. As promised, I wanted to document and share my process as I worked through the theme of opposites. It was interesting because I began by thinking of bare trees versus trees bursting with leaves. As I sketched them at opposite ends of a page, I realized that what interested me the most was in the *middle*.  The gorgeous Spring and Fall with leaves of many colors. All things, including ourselves, are on a spectrum, with opposites on either end and a host of ranges in between. That's what makes life interesting! I learned a lot about the spectrum during therapy with a bi-polar child. Bi-polar simply means fluctuating between two poles. We are all somewhere between poles, based on genetics, life experiences and our chosen path. By celebrating opposites, we actually honor all of the beauty in the middle.




 

I mentioned that I tend to work a piece straight through. I believe that you should keep pushing until you're happy, so this sketch went through a number of transformations, mistakes, agonies. I wait for the next step to reveal itself to me. Trial and error, success and failure. Let's review. First I created a pencil sketch, then filled it in with pen. Second step was adding some watercolor washes. Third step was to add some book text collage and thread sketching on the sewing machine. Fourth step was to paint over the collaged background. At that point I decided that it was too busy, so I added contrast with a wash of white paint at the base of the trees and muted the background. Finally, I tried to figure out what was missing. I really needed to accentuate the MIDDLE of this sketch by bringing the colorful leaves to the forefront. Bingo! I added some larger leaves and gave them a big color impact.



Look to the CENTER of life for the juiciest parts. We are all on a journey from black to white and back again. Life is a journey, art is a journey and each sketch takes a journey as well.

12 comments:

  1. I love your interpretation of this subject. I feel like we have to experience both ends of the pole to appreciate the middle.

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

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  2. Oh Kelli, I like this! both the idea and the results!

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  3. A vibrant piece, like life itself!

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  4. Love this, Kelli. Thanks for sharing your process, it's a big help for those of us learning how to put it all together.

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  5. Thanks you for describing the step taken to make this wonderful vibrant sketch. So much thought and work.

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  6. thanks, dear Kelli for taking us along! beautiful piece and message.

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  7. Wow. That is beautiful! Loved hearing your work process.

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  8. I love how your interpretation... wait, cath said that, but it's so true! The trees and colors are beautiful! {:-Deb

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  9. thank you Kelli for sharing your process; helps me! love the colors and the picture itself.

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  10. Love seeing the process Kelli and the finished piece just knocks my socks off. It just vibrates with energy.

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  11. Hi Kelli; it's great to see how your project grew in steps. I also love your project; the trees are beautiful in each stage, your written text added and wonderful colours, and then the leaves. Thanks for sharing and inspiring...

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