pen & watercolour wash
© Teresa Kirkpatrick 2011
February in the UK heralds the signs of approaching Spring: the mornings and evenings are noticeably lighter, the birds are singing more and more to encourage the sap to rise; trees are showing a first glimpse of colour - blossom, even, in the mildest areas - and snowdrops and crocuses are pushing up through the earth. These changes, which we have waited for so long, come thick and fast; and in the spirit of the promise of new life, my painting of Yavanna Kementári, which I blogged about a couple of weeks ago, has come to completion.
I say my painting, but I don't really think of it that way: this painting, once eventually begun, revealed its subject with the slightest of input from me. The element which gives life to this image is the original background wash, and the least successful elements (leaves and flowers on the trees) are the ones where I tried to intervene too much. To my surprise and delight, once I'd laid down some water on Yavanna's cloak and added random brushfuls of paint, this overwash dried into a texture reminiscent of foliage; at one point I had thought I might inlcude a representation of flowers or leaves on her dress, but abandoned the idea. And, as Tolkien described, she is 'crowned by the sun' - but I never planned it that way!