Angels have become a recurring theme of my life/ thought in the last six months, starting from my use of photos of an angel statue here in Vilnius in my art journal for a weekly web-class called Wanderlust 2017 organized by a British-Polish couple at http://www.everythingart.com. I like the little statue and my photos, but also feel I should develop my own angel to use in my art. I used that inspiration to make photograph of a distant relative into an mixed media journal page, but have not yet created my own angel “from scratch.”
I’ve gotten a few weeks behind on the Wanderlust class (http://www.everything-art.com/) and so last week started getting myself caught up, and on Sunday I watched the class for week 15 presented by Mindy Lacefield (http://www.mindylacefieldart.com/). The primary “learning” task of the class was making a person part of the journal page, and the example was of a mermaid sitting on a rock. I realized the position the mermaid was in was similar to that of my vilnius angel photo below, and decided to change the angel in to a mermaid but basically use the procedure from the class to work on developing my angel. I decided to have my angel talking to some flowers, similar to an this page.
The quote is special to me, because I was looking for something fitting for this page, and found this idea that wild flowers are the alphabet of angels, and that nature’s flowers are a form of mysterious truths written by the angels. I first saw the quote attributed to Ben Franklin, and wondered why he was writing about this, so wanted to look at the original source. Although it was attributed to Benjamin Franklin in several places, it had no date or source supporting that attribution. I searched further for it, and eventually got to the original source, which was NOT Benjamin Franklin, but instead the author of a novel called “The Rebels” (1825) and also of the song “Over the River and Through the Woods”: Lydia Maria Child. She was only 23 when she published “The Rebels”, but had an active minds and life, and is described on Wikipedia as “an American abolitionist, women’s rights activist, Native American rights activist, novelist, journalist, and opponent of American expansionism.” I was happy to add her quotation to my work and be able to source it accurately–a small piece of Herstory restored.
I ended up working for about six hours straight on “my” angel, partly because it took me several attempts to get her facial features the way I wanted them. I have been drawing straight on portraits, but this face was at a slight angel so it took some painting and repainting to get her features located correctly. At one point I was using a heat gun to dry her face so I could continue working, and got the paint too hot and caused a little bubbling! In addition to extra work on the face, I had to use gesso to start over on the flowers as I was not happy with the shape or color I started with. In the end I am content with her, though she came out looking unintentionally like my younger daughter! I guess my two daughters are the faces I see when I picture female beauty. One has long blond wavy hair, one has dark hair that has been a variety of shades, so almost any face with big eyes and full lips will look like one or the other of them to me…
I am calling this picture “Telling the flowers a bedtime story.” In addition to using the flowers to write mysterious truths, my angel also communicates with them.
Painted with acrylics in a Dylusions Large Creative Journal (https://www.amazon.com/Ranger-Dylusions-Reaveleys-Creative-8-25-Inch/dp/B009MRLEJI),
So now I have my cat-person Katya and my angel who are the beginnings of my own “characters” or creations. My angel is unnamed for the moment, but my sister said this looks like a book illustration. Maybe she will become the star of a picture book…Or maybe not! I don’t know yet where my art is taking me…