Painting for Thienhuong
Since Thienhuong has finally got around to at least setting a month and year for her wedding, I figured it was time to start thinking about her painting.
I think this will be far easier than the commission I have 80% completed. The difference here is that Thienhuong (Dibs) has not asked me to include anything specific. (Well, actually she did ask for one thing but I rejected it). When I have open slather to paint whatever I like, it gives me such a freedom and I’m not worried that it won’t be what she wants.
The second reason I think this will be easier is that I’ve known Dibs for 18 years, so have more ideas what she may, or may not like in a painting. Including things which symbolise someone else is pretty easy. For example, if I was doing a piece for my mother, it probably would have to feature a cat or an owl… or both! What is not easy is reflecting emotion rather than objects. How does one incorporate gentleness into a painting? Dibs certainly has that streak. Or even more difficult – sarcasm, facetiousness and just generally shit-stirring… how does one put those things in a painting? Even if I knew how, perhaps I should steer clear of those things given it is for her wedding… kindness and respect and probably far safer bets; not that I know how to paint either of those! At the end of day, I think all I can is paint what feels right. Hopefully somewhere in between planned inclusions and intuition, the painting will find it’s heart.
At the moment this picture is part of the bottom right hand corner of the painting. It features calligraphy with some vietnamese words (although I’ve cropped off the first letter at least so perhaps it now says something different!) I assured Dibs that the writing would not be obvious. Should she happen to see this picture and post, I perhaps should re-iterate that. I love layers and given the writing has gone on this early in the process there won’t be much left later.
Sometimes the layering presents a difficulty. Take those drips… particularly the fuzzy blue ones. I really like them. But working around them is just not do-able, so they will most likely be lost at some point during the development of the painting. I had someone ask me – if the writing and the drips all get covered up what’s the point of putting them there? In the case of drips or collage, it all just adds to the texture and depth of the painting. Text does the same, but I have a strange idea that even if you can’t read the words anymore, the sentiment they express remains. Ridiculous I know, but I never said I was sane!
I think that I’m really going to enjoy this painting… I just have to refrain from making it too cheeky and remember that it is for her wedding.
Special note for my art friends: That smoky blue-grey was made by mixing cerulean blue and burnt sienna. (I don’t think I can manage to paint anything without burnt sienna in it somewhere). The muted colour is perhaps a little more me than Dibs, so I may have to spice it up at some point, but for the moment, I couldn’t resist it.