This is the 2nd of Artizan's monthly team project that gives us each a chance to exercise our creativity offline. The theme for May was "What If.." Here's what we came up with
Unlike our previous project, I already started this one with the idea that I would like to use two techniques - pointillism and watercolour, which I only tried once back in college. So I felt that this would be a nice challenge.
With that in mind, I began to think about what colours I'd like to use before I started thinking about the drawing itself. I bought a kit of watercolour paints and played around with it. I really like the way blue and green mixed together so I decided that I would either create something relating to the sky or under the water.
I ended up choosing the latter and thought what if we were actually living under the water? With that in mind, I started to draw a human body. At first, I was thinking about drawing a mix of human and fish just like a mermaid. But I wanted to create something more interesting so I changed my mind and decided that a half-human, half-octopus creature would be nicer. I still wanted to keep that human feeling so I focused on the upper part of a woman's body as if she was posing for a portrait and also put a lot of effort into making the hair feel like it was floating under the water.
I started adding the watercolour to the hair, mixing orange, red and purple so that I could have some vibrant colours to contrast with the greenish blue. I added a lot of water to the painting so that I could use a hair dryer to create splashes of colour.
I was really concerned about the watercolour part as colour has never come naturally to me, but in the end, I was really happy with the result and I'm looking forward to painting with watercolour again.
The phrase “What if..” is an invitation to imagine a different kind of world. Sometimes we use it as an opportunity to dream. For some reason, my imagination took me to a darker vision of the future.
I had been really moved by Greta Thunberg’s recent address to the EU parliament on climate change. To watch her describe the consequences of our inaction and the damage befalling our biosphere, I was really jolted into truly acknowledging the environmental catastrophe our children are on the cusp of inheriting. I started to think about what that future might be like for our children. So my painting is based around the concept of “What if we get to a 4 degree warmer world..”
Polar bears are such an iconic symbol of life in the Arctic. It’s tragic to watch their habitat melting beneath them, see the starvation they're enduring and the looming threat of extinction. In my painting of the future, this has already happened. Which is why I placed them as an exhibit in a museum. The children are all carrying heavy-looking oxygen tanks on their backs and masks over their faces. I wanted to convey the burdens and restrictions they endure to be able to survive in a warmer world where there’s less clean air to breathe. I gave the girls twin plaits as a nod to Greta.
I wanted the bottom of the painting to drip and melt into oblivion. I had chosen red for the children’s clothing to complement the museum rope, keep a reduced colour pallet and also to give a sense of heat. I hadn’t anticipated the drip effect would look so bloody – it makes the image quite stark and shocking. In a way, we are massacring our planet so this horror effect is quite fitting.
What if we always stood in our own truth.
With this task, I wanted to look deeper into the concept of being in harmony with your own self. People who stand in their truth and are naturally authentic, emit this energy field that is not possible to see, and yet it feels so magnetic, it makes it palpable.
I wanted to create a feeling of shine around the character. A representation of the inner light, an aura. I did not apply any sort of process in choosing the colour, and allowed myself to be led by my own intuition.
To represent the harmony and perfect balance, I played with some sacred geometry shapes. By placing the female in the centre, it became a little interpretation of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Vitruvian Man'. So I used some similar elements, like the positioning of the feet, in order to allude to that.
It was an interesting process for me personally. I found it quite disruptive as it brought up emotional reactions to the work. The little imperfections were especially triggering me, which I enjoyed and was fascinated by in my own way.
By the end of the piece, I wanted to do so much more. Thankfully, I ran out of time :)