16'x 20" mixed medium on panel # 109
I will now give a brief description of my painting process in this piece , my thoughts behind this paintings symbolism and some general observations regarding the whole experience.
In the original photo I loved the position of the figures , the older child Marley is leading the younger Haddie down what appears to be an unknown path . At this age , four and two, they are entering the unknown path of life, they are on their own individual journey, not knowing the destination. It was then that I got the idea using light in the form of the sun rays to symbolize the light of life . Light is one of the most universal and fundamental symbols. It is the spiritual and the divine, it is illumination, intelligence and guidance. Light is the source of goodness, hope and the ultimate reality.
So, the full title which I wrote on the back of this painting is ...
"Haddie and Marley, on the path, into the light."
Here I have applied my first coats of acrylic . Using a mix of titanium white, a hint of cobalt blue and acrylic glazing liquid I am starting to develop a radiating effect with paint strokes coming from a center of where the sun will eventually peek through the leaves above. The paint strokes are radiating downward in all directions from that center.
On the bottom I have established a base coat of acrylic burnt umber mixed with pumice medium gel. The paint strokes are radiating upward toward the center and also tapering off toward the center where the path will curve. This helps, early on, to create a sense of depth of field by just using texture to your advantage. The pumice gritty texture is mostly at the bottom with very little texture toward the center. The road texture toward the center will have no pumice , just paint stroke texture curving slightly left where the path will bend.
In the photo above notice that in order to get even more texture in the road and give the appearance of uneven sized pebbles I washed out and used beach sand. I simply applied it by mixing glazing liquid medium with the sand. This was applied in the bottom of the painting only, in such a way as to not get the pebbles onto the area where the figures are, and not going too far up past the figures. Then after it dried I painted over that with a mix of burnt umber , cobalt blue, titanium white and glazing liquid . (see below)
Most of my paintings have a hidden symbolic message . In this one it is all about our inner journey down "the path" of uncertainty, toward all that which "light" symbolises. As children we may start out holding another's hand but eventually we are all on our own, each following an unknown path, towards finding truth and meaning in life. At the end of the road maybe we will all find what is that ultimate reality which we all seek.
The two figures in this painting represent my two grandchildren. May this generation of children find great Love, Joy, Peace, Hope and ultimate meaning in their lives.