This painting began as a class demonstration in alternative painting techniques. My advanced painters at the Lopez Center are traditionally trained; I wanted to teach them a more intuitive, abstract approach to beginning their artwork. We worked on layering up the background with stencils and various mark-making tools (no brushes) using analogous color in a range of values. My students have especially taken to the stencil technique, using everything from cupcake liners to hand-cut images. I'll share their work after our critique next week.
In choosing the subject matter, I wanted to keep the scene peaceful and afocal. The repetitive cranes all fly in the same direction, save for one at the base of the painting who glides toward another. Inspired by spring and the fact that love is in the air; my brother recently became engaged and many of our friends and family have welcomed new babies. We even had baby birds nesting on our front porch (they're since taken flight themselves.)
Steven and I were married in front of a curtain of paper cranes (we folded over 1,000 for the occasion.) It now hangs in my studio, and was the source for my drawings. The origami was drawn, arranged and transferred to canvas using carbon paper. After blocking out the basic shapes, I reworked the background with more layers and cast shadows to create a shallow separation between imagery and background.
In the Air, acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20 x 1 1/2"