Starting with a sketch. At this point, I want it to be a disturbing interior, surrounded by decorative elements.
So I spent a ridiculous amount of time painting on these flower silhouettes.
My original thought for this piece was inspired by the musical, Little Shop of Horrors, but in this version the plant is molesting the doll. Let me say at this point, that I love her shoes and they are the main reason it took me so long to fix this piece, because I didn’t want to loose those shoes! Silly! With the background, I wanted to layer another color with larger flowers and then play with the overlapping and negative space.
This is the point when all hell started breaking loose. I added the “peanut gallery” in the back, but I really don’t know why, perhaps to intensify the discomfort in the piece? Well, the main problem is that they can not logically fit in that terrarium. Apparently, I didn’t like the face or body, but I don’t remember why not. They definitely had the creepy factor.
It has begun….who is controlling this painting?
I was not achieving the results I wanted and the party had gotten out of control. Everybody out! Headless bug, you can stay.
The simple figure interacting with the headless bug and the solemn tree seems to express the emotions better. In the end, I think those rocks and the bug are the only original elements.
Working on the values.
The background, which was supposed to be the opposite of the interior, looked like “Swamp Thing” wallpaper. Argh! Maybe some cheery pink succulents will help?
No, that didn’t work. Maybe I should add some really tall blossoms? I am really digging the interior, but what the #$*&$# is going on outside?
I started the pattern on the doll. It is hard to see in this version, but the pattern is made of tiny skulls and crossbones. I had a critique were it was suggested that the patterns play a more obvious role in the narrative, and I liked that idea.
Developing the interior further and completely stuck on the exterior.
Patterns for the tree and insect. Oh, and have a mentioned I have a thing for red shoes?
I try a teal glaze on the background and start a pattern on the jar.
Those darn flowers. Now they had little pod people in them. It may be good to note that I was starting to freak out about the Indy show and whether I would finish this piece in time to show there. I think the added stress clouded my judgment on this piece. I am thrilled with the final piece, but I think I had something interesting in the beginning. That is when these progression images haunt me.
I have tried switching the flowers to pine trees and I am much happier with them, but the piece is still all-over gloomy.
Blue skies almost always seem cheerful and they help the trees stand out better. But gosh, all that work gone. I swear to myself at this point that I will start sketching and planning ahead better so I don’t waste so much time, but as you will see with “Brocade Barricade,” some pieces just have to evolve on their own.
There are a lot of changes between this version and the final, the main difference being the sky. In this version there are wispy white clouds, but they blend too much with the white pattern of the jar. I decide to bring in some hot pink/coral, which pops nicely against the blue sky. I also define the jar pattern more and bump up the colors on the figure.