I would love to blog about Legends of the Forest, Cernunnos, Lord of the Hunt, how I feel about the forest and the natural world, but all I can really think about is a great sense of relief. Finally, I have done another one of my painterly coloured pencils. It has been a very long time, and I miss them. I’ve often looked back on some of my first coloured pencils with longing. They were fresh and honest, but I always would always consider them from someone else’s point of view, and think, naive, garish, rough. These are images created with the internal editor turned off, and the things that lurk in the back of the brain are quite like that.
This is an image that has been kicking around in the back of my head since last May. I’d would love to give you an eloquent story about it being inspired by Celtic legend, but here’s the bare truth.
I was walking in the woods with my husband and friends in Magnetawan Provincial Park. The path was blocked by a very large puddle, and none of us wanted to get our feet wet, so we tried an off-trail detour. Trickles and wet patches led us ever further from the trail, and as we wandered about trying to find dry path back we became separated. It was a hemlock swamp and we were hopping from rock, to tussock, to mossy log, and it was all very dark and mysterious in spite of the fine sunny day. Then my husband reappeared from the shadows. He was wearing a bright sapphire blue t-shirt, and somehow it all looked quite striking, as my friend said, “Look, a blue deer”, and indeed, that image stuck. I instantly knew it would have to be rendered in coloured pencil, but I hadn’t done coloured pencil is such a very long time, and I had a great deal of other things to think about at the time so I filed the thought away for ‘someday’.
Well, ‘someday’ finally came along. Two friends’ experiences led to ‘someday’ happening. First, my mentor and fellow printmaker had embarked on 36”x24” oil painting. She spends most of her days as independent building superintendent for four apartments; her studio is a storage room. As you can imagine, she has little time to create art, so this was a large ambitious undertaking. And, her words, she wanted to be one of those artists who leaves behind an attic full of undiscovered masterpieces. In other words, art for the sake of creating art. Art without an audience, a gallery, or juror, or buyer in mind. I admired her for that purity, and then she wrote back that at it’s half-way stage, it had been dropped and punctured right through the middle. I can’t stop thinking of that, and how much of a risk she took to begin this thing. Maybe it was time for me to take some artist risk too.
And then fine artist and fellow blogger Michelle showed us a very personal work of art on her blog and it was yet another reminder to me of what is really important in art.
Which made me brave enough to work on my coloured pencils again, banish the editor (or at least try to) and GO!
Blue Stag is 11x14 and fully burnished. I’ll call it a painting in the tradition of pastel artists (pastel works have been listed as paintings for a very long time). My own criteria, with coloured pencil is the level of coverage, layering and blending. For example, most of my life drawings in coloured pencils are drawings (long poses) and sketches (short poses).
Listed on Etsy, but nope, I’m not in a hurry to sell. This one’s for me.