I think we can all say that 2020 has been one of the most challenging of years so far. It’s been difficult enough to keep everything, and everyone together, let alone find the motivation and the inspiration to paint.
When times are challenging I find that a little goal is always a good starting point. Nothing outrageous, and nothing that’s unachievable or difficult. We can all be too ambitious when it comes to a challenge, and it’s a really good way to set yourself up for a fall. or even worse, a fail. And that’s when we give up. For me, painting is all about enjoying what you do, and I really wanted to enjoy this one.
This year it would have been too easy to worry myself sick about shielding older parents, and my hard-working other half in his ‘safety critical role’ having to stay away from home. It all could have got too much. At times, it did of course, but life’s like that, and we have to roll with it.
A little project was just what was needed. And, that’s how my ‘Warrior’ paintings started. Very simply, these were to be three Iris bud paintings. We have loads of flag Irises in our garden, and just as we were heading into lockdown, they bloomed. It felt like the flowers were saying, ‘it’s okay, we’re still here’.
Having the same colour story kept things pretty simple from the perspective of the palette, but I also chose to paint the Iris buds at different stages of development, just to add that sense of progression. This gave me a chance to really lose myself in the process, focusing on each element of the flower to capture the lovely details.
Warrior One was never going to be a tutorial, but I found myself filming the process. I guess this was partly out of habit, but I also found the experience of working as if someone else was with me very reassuring. With the launch of the website going ahead even with the restrictions going on around us, Warrior One felt like the perfect choice for my new Free tutorial. Even the spear-like shape of her appeared as defiance.
Watch the YouTube video of Warrior One.