27″ x 20″
A forest fire can be destructive but it can also renew a forest with new growth. Some species, such as the Jack Pine, require the heat of a fire for their seeds to germinate. I tell myself this to put some positive spin on my new piece. I made it in response to an assignment to illustrate movement.
Last month I began a year long online master class with Elizabeth Barton. Each month Elizabeth presents a concept via an essay with examples of artwork illustrating the principle. Each participant produces 3 sketches based on the concept and we need to turn them in by the 10th of the month. They are posted to a private blog with Elizabeth’s critique and we choose one to develop. We have another 10 days to produce a block-out mockup of our piece and submit it for comment. The finished work is due by the end of the month.
One of the things I love about this class is being able to follow the progress of each student’s artwork. Each student has her own style and methods. No two pieces resemble each other at all. Since its all on our blog I can spend lots of time studying the photos and reading Elizabeth’s comments and suggestions.
In January we explored contrast and I will share my January piece at some point. I submitted it to a show and while there is no restriction about showing it ahead of time I’ve decided to see if by some wild chance its accepted.
I found the February assignment to be challenging. For some reason I wanted to try a subject I had not explored and to treat it in a somewhat abstract way. I’m not sure where the idea of the forest fire came from.
The fire in the background was a lot of fun. Nothing like hot colors in drab and dreary February. The trees gave me fits until I realized that I was falling back on my very literal tree shapes that did not work with the abstracted background. I took another look at how Patty Hawkins suggests trees with simple shapes. All my fabric choices seemed too heavy and then I recalled a very old piece Ghosts of the Forest and decided to try organza.
Ghosts of the Forest 2006
I finished in time. March & April might be tricky but I am really going to try to produce one new piece each month