Hello everyone! It has certainly been awhile since I have been on my site with any updates! Crazy how fast time goes by sometimes but it is also crazy how long some of my paintings take! My latest creation, entitled “Nature’s Guardian” took me 2 months to complete and well over 200 hours of research, planning, and painting. This one was a major labor of love, though as usual, it was fraught with many hours of frustration and headaches. All worth it in the end however!
16″ x 20″
Copyright Melissa Stinson 2014
After taking this last week off, I took a good look at this baby again today and I am so happy with it, I have a hard time believing, sometimes, that I was the one who created it (or any of my paintings really). It actually gave me goosebumps this morning when I decided to look at it again (when you spend as much time starting at a single canvas as I do sometimes, you really have to step back for a time so that it stops looking like individual pieces on a page and instead starts looking like a painting as a whole).
So, this painting was commissioned to me (My first commission in 2 years!!) by a dear friend of mine. This person came to me one night in February and asked me if I had ever thought of doing a “Green Man” painting. He had just finished staring at my jungle painting and love, love, loved it. I actually laughed when he asked me since I had just recently been looking up Green Man images online with the thought of doing such a painting. We decided to talk more about a possible project the next time we met. Almost a month later I casually asked him if he was still interested in me doing a painting for him as I had been mulling the ideas around in my head and wanted to talk to him about them. Sure enough he did! We had lunch, talked about what he might want in the painting and I was on my way.
The planning of the painting was pretty intense… I tried to draw in almost everything right away which made my eyes go crazy with all the detail. I didn’t want to miss anything though so I fought through the discomfort not really thinking that more discomfort would be coming when it was actually time to fill it all in, Ha! I did leave out a few small things until I had almost completed the actual painting, however, otherwise it would have been so full I would have given up before I had even put my brush to the canvas. There were many days that I wanted to defenestrate this piece…. Mostly from pure frustration regarding the ongoing questions of “What is going in this space” or “Omg, I can’t believe I have to stare at this thing for another MILLION hours” or “Where did that colour of green paint go, no, not that one the other one…” or “Which cat took my best brush THIS time”… Not to mention the constant fight to keep cat hairs out of my darn paint, lol. I think my husband and mother probably wanted to leave the country a couple of times with me constantly pestering them about their opinions. 😛 Anyway, it is done now and in its new home. I haven’t heard yet, how it is fairing, but from the look on my friend’s face when I delivered it to him last week, he seemed pretty darn happy and in awe of what I have done for him. I am happy I could bring him such joy. 😀
So a quick breakdown of the painting:
Detail of “Nature’s Guardian”
This one has a bit of a pagan/Celtic feel to it starting (of course) with the Green Man (a small green portrait of my friend). I have painted in 3 purple Faery stars, 3 bronze Triskele for personal growth and expansion, and 4 silver Celtic knot corners (this put a huge challenge before me as I don’t particularly like being put in a “box”… as you can see I put the corners in to frame the painting but as with nature, I chose to break the barriers and let everything grow wild around the knots giving the painting a sense of flowing off the canvas and continuing on for as far as the viewer would like to imagine). As usual there is a sun in the painting, for without sun, there would be little to no life on our beautiful planet. I have some spaces signifying the molecular breakdown of life. I had my friend pick 3 runes for himself and have placed these into the painting as well. There are 14 tiny ladybugs crawling around on the canvas (in some countries, ladybugs are good luck and everybody can use a bit of luck 😉 ). I also love the magical feeling of the “wise old owl” and the life of the forest which is portrayed in the addition of the little frog and butterfly, as well as the spider webs (I didn’t put the spiders in but the feeling that there are other things living under the leaves and hidden in the undergrowth are *hopefully* signified by the webs). By the time I was putting the finishing touches on I wanted to add more creatures… a caterpillar or two crossed my mind… but the painting was already so full that I decided to forgo these additions. I wanted to make the painting feel like magic, FULL of life, and the immense beauty found in even the smallest areas of nature. I hope this is what I have shown here and I hope that all of my viewers enjoy discovering what this painting has to offer!