Sunday, 13 February 2011

Yavanna, Revealed

Yavanna Kementári
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!


  1. She's just beautiful, Teresa, I think it's magical the way she's emerged from the washes you've laid down. Paintings that have their own life are always the best :-).

  2. This is beautiful - it's got a magical, ethereal quality to it. She seems to be almost emerging from nature - part solid being, part spirit. The washes have come out superbly and actually I think the foliage at the top is very good and complements the rest of the painting perfectly.

  3. Well said Jon. I agree she illuminates from the page in colors as no doubt were the colors of the universe she was sung into being. Teresa I think I can say this is the most beautiful of the Tolkien paintings you've created. This is my favorite.