July 06, 2006

Home (part one)

"fireflies" home series part I acrylic, ink on canvas 8" x 8"
click image for a larger view

I have been working on the dream garden series for the summer alongside of finishing my DH's eye ... and starting a portrait of Grace, my daughter. The Home series are fanciful places from composite memories of my past dreams, travels and imagination. Fireflies is drawn from my youth. Sitting in the back garden with the moon above and the house far away seeing swarms of these facinating bugs fly around. I am sure they were not that color nor were they that large but somehow that is how they came out. It is a small and deep canvas so I thought they could fly around the sides.
In my poppy paintings, I used larger versions of the same canvases and blurred the images on the side, much like viewing a something with a turn of the head. The focus can only be on one thing, so the edges are blurred. In these canvases, I chose to make them fanciful. Isn't it great being queen of your own canvas and make your own rules? I think so!

The word for the day is ... healing ... as in something theraputic for you, a slow process and a self healing cutting board for paper/fabric. (yes, I have to get sewing soon...)


andrea said...

I love this. I've never used acrylic ink. Does it go on like a liquid version of acrylic paint? And did you gesso your canvas especially to get that surface quality? It's great. (I always have technical questions it seems...)

Susan Schwake said...

well thank you andrea! they are sort of just personal works, but always great to hear that someone likes them too!
the surface is twelve layers of paint. i use golden soft gel on some transparent layers which leave the texture of the boars bristle, then i use golden's heavy gel for more buildup on layers. i love texture so i always use the mediums. when i paint with oils i do it more in thinner layers (like the portrait of my husband)
the ink is just ink. two mediums, acrylic and india ink. i should have put an "and" there... the photo loses the gold irridecent layer around the fireflies. oh well.

Anonymous said...

You are the queen Ms. Susan! I love your fireflys. They have the circular shape that I adore in your style.
I can't wait to see more of your summer series and the painting of your daughter...awww, i can just imagine the beauty you will come up with!

Anonymous said...

Awesome Susan ! It would look most interesting hanging next to your Poppies series !

I was thinking next Friday, I'll mail out your painting.How does that sound with you ? :) My Daughter took it to her room this morning and hung it on the wall...lol...I had to explain she could not keep this one. She's fine with it ! I think I'm going to have some prints made from that piece probably.

Anonymous said...

Wow!! I had two delights upon seeing this, the first being the wonderful nature of the painting..I love the feel of it, the colours and the dream-like quality it has. It's inspired me, as have many of your works, to get back into my studio and paint!
Secondly, I wrote a poem this summer which spoke of fireflies and home, so the association definitely resonates with me.

Great site here, and I love many of the artists represented in the gallery. I'll be adding you to my list of links!

carla said...

This is captivating! I like the composition of the circles against the blue, and the fine lines of ink against the rough texture of the paint really brings out the delicacy of the insects. I am imagining the metallic of the gold...it never does come through in phographs, but it must look glorious. The little house with the crescent moon creates the feeling of a dream/memory from long ago.

diana said...

love those fireflies ! and I love the idea of a home series... cant wait to see more !

Anonymous said...

I have a weakness for both firefly and house imagery, so I think this painting is especially charming! Susan, your posts are nudging me closer and closer to pulling out my paints.

Miriam said...

I absolutely LOVE that painting! That is just too dreamy. Great color...just neat!

Sarah .B. Scott said...

Very whimsical, like something right out of a children's book! It works perfectly for your theme of childhood!

Anonymous said...

I love this painting, Susan! I hadn't seen real fireflies before moving to NJ. They are so beautiful and magical. I love the shapes and the colours of your lil' fireflies.