Sunday, December 12, 2010

Challenge 13 - Pearls

Many of you wrote to tell me how you got carried away... and lost sleep and even put off holiday cleaning in your zeal to finish your painting. For me too, painting is a window into another world where I sometimes get lost... simply enjoying every brush stroke - as my feelings, imagination and dreams manifest themselves on the canvas.

And I feel truly rewarded... everyday we see a new beautiful surprise in PADT...There is uniqueness in each wonderful work of art which speaks to us of our individual creativity and imagination.

Your comments are much needed and appreciated... and so is your patience & readiness to accept each others critiques - since I know that we really share our thoughts with the best of intentions.

It's with so much happiness that I now bring this new composition for our next challenge.

A new challenge

I am quite excited about this new composition for our "New Year" PADT challenge. It is different, complex and very special. If you would like, it can also qualify for a large scale painting.

But don't get too intimidated with its complexity. You would never know how good you are or might become, if you let first impressions scare you away.

Even if you have made only a few paintings so far, I am sure that you would create a wonderful painting with this composition as well.

About the composition

The idea of having landscape as a background in a painting is as old as the first known forms of art. It has been used and reused in many artistic forms and styles throughout the history of art and human civilization.

This landscape is a real one called "Cheltenham Badlands" and it is a part of the famous Bruce Trail. It depicts one of the interesting geological areas in Ontario (Canada), with completely red hills and valleys. This area is now preserved as a national park in Canada.

It is fascinating to know how it got formed 430 million years ago. This was once the edge of a warm, shallow sea. Far to the southeast, a mountain range the size of the Himalayas was building. Rivers from these mountains were sending red, iron-rich sediment of the mountains into the sea, forming a large, muddy delta. The sea was teaming with life, but on land, no plants or animals had yet developed.

Then in another few million years, the sea dried and vegetation started to grow.

In 1900s when the trees were cut to allow for cattle pasture, the protective layer of vegetation was removed and the shale began to erode, and has continued to its present-day state forming badlands.

Since pearls come from pearl-shells of the Oyster, a shell is used to "spice" the composition with a little of the symbolism I am hoping everyone remembers from the last challenge.

Technically speaking, the biggest challenge here will be in managing the plenty of colors and hues in the pearls and their reflections. If you look closely, you will notice yellow, blue, purple, red and almost all colors of the rainbow in them. Since these are real pearls, each one is different from the others and the natural texture is obvious. Please don't paint them as if all are perfect spheres or identical in shape - they are not.

The light source is natural sunlight coming from the top left side, significantly diffused by the obvious presence of clouds. This means you will not have hard edges in your shadow areas. All edges - except the pearls and the shell - are soft and blended.

Due to Holidays and the significant complexity of the subject the time for this challenge will be 4 weeks instead of 3. Please send a photo of your painting the latest by January 8. The next painting reference will be posted on Sunday January 9.

This is my little gift for all of us in PADT for the new year!


Debbie Later said...

I love this photo and I am excited by the Challenge. I also appreciate the insightful background information that you take time to give us. Thank you and Happy Holidays.

Jenni said...

I'm so excited about this photo, I can't wait to start. Thank goodness we've got 4 weeks. Lela, your background information is very helpful, and certainly makes me stand back and consider. Thank you so much.
Merry Xmas everyone.

Kim Vanlandingham said...

Wow I just signed up to follow your blog. I may join in on a challenge later on. This looks fun!

Susan Roux said...

Wow, what a find! Can you just imagine opening a shell to have a whole necklace pour out? The imagination runs...

Anonymous said...

I think this was a precious jewel safeguarded by a knight in the forest for his princess.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for your kind words... I am so glad this composition has inspired everyone and got our creative juices flowing!

Unknown said...

Yikes! Now, this is a challenge...what to do; what to do? All the colors, textures and mysterious darks and the shell make me think of a pirates treasure just waiting to be discovered.

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