Dark shadows

I’ve returned from the mountains, where I enjoyed a little camping beneath forest pines with some good friends. There’s something incredibly refreshing about sleeping outside amongst trees. Much of the forest was burnt to a crisp a couple of years ago and simply hasn’t recovered. There are miles of mountains covered with blackened tree trunks showing no sign of life. It will take many years for these pines to return, but there’s new grass showing, and wild flowers are returning, so the natural cycle seems to be working toward regeneration.

In the studio, armed with a one inch beat-up soft round brush that I’ve had for years, I’ve been adding Ivory Black to the shadows, emphasizing the dark, light, dark composition of the painting, with that strong white upward thrust of the skeleton cutting through the layers. The stones got a glaze of black, disciplined with a soft rag to pull back the lights, while the foreground skulls got a bit more care, with deeper shadows around he sides of the crania and in the darker pockets of the eye sockets, nasal cavity and mouth.

I’ve ordered a package of peacock feathers for the angel to wear around his neck, so I’ll have to figure out how this will affect the composition before getting into painting it. The feathers have to come from China, so there’s going to be a bit of a delay until they get here, so I plan to work on Amelia a little while waiting for them. Cameron and Joe brought her over to the studio this morning for me.

About pearce

Michael Pearce is an artist, writer, and professor of art. He is the author of "Art in the Age of Emergence."
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