Raven/Eagle Shield completed 2018
24"x48"x1.5" acrylic on exhibition canvas
It happens from time to time, when you feel stuck. I've made a point to not refer to the 2015 painting in order to let the totem guide whichever way it needed to go. But with complex images, with so many layers of detail, the hurdles seem that much taller, and deciphering how to proceed can be daunting. In times like that, all I can do is sit with the canvas and study it. But the block remained in place. I then took some time to refer to my photo of the 2015 painting, not to copy it, but to study what I had done then. I knew that I had reached a similar block then. It became obvious that this current painting was going in a different direction. Oh sure, it looks similar as I am working from the same original image, but the 2015 painting was simplified somewhat. It reminded me that at the time, I had the fast approaching Solo Show at the Silk Purse Gallery, and there had to be that point where it was completed enough to be compete in itself.
So, having studied the image of the first painting, and seeing the discoveries and decisions made back in 2015, I set it aside, returned to the canvas, and back to original totem. The next decision was 'Where do I jump in on the canvas! There is so much to do.'
Once having made that step back into the canvas, my To Do List got longer as this painting was going in a different direction. Adjustments to form and colour washes are being made, but the main change is the level of wood graining.
Now that the Siksika Icon has been completed, and all icons have been delivered to the Mainland, I am happily back to the Raven/Eagle Shield canvas (which you saw in the April 2 posting.
I've been busily working in base colours and preliminary undertones. Today was about making adjustments to forms and outlines in order to be true to the original and to the culture.
Yes, I am returning to that point in my journey when I completed painting of this Alaskan treasure, but I will not do copies of the first paintings. I need to allow the original image of the totem to lead the way, and in so doing, this painting will have its differences from the first. A few years have passed and life experience will influence the discoveries.
You you would like to see that first painting, you can view at: