The tale of a lockdown challenge

Once upon a timeI would have felt either guilty for wasting time or slightly concerned that I was losing the plot if I confessed to spending a whole day on slightly dubious art projects!

(I say slightly dubious as, if I am a creative, then I am a writer as opposed to an artist…but then to say that of myself is also backsliding towards the old me who was perpetually self depracating…or so my better half tells me).

However, back to the point. During these days of lockdown some members of our distanced family decided to undertake a weekly art challenge. It has been…and I hope will continue to be… both fun and rewarding.

My point is that this week the theme was ‘Myth and Magic’. This really appealed to me, challenged as I am by perspective or the uniformity of man-made objects (all those straight lines and angles which have to be just so to render any semblance of a likeness!

It happens that I also do regular challenge from the art teacher whose Adult Ed art class has been stymied by Covid. Her theme was ‘Hair’. I decided to do both challenges at once.

I began conservatively with the idea of simulultaneously amusing the grandchildren with a picture or two…three birds with one stone. I was on a roll.

My first choice of media was crayon and the subject…a troll with the emphasis on hair…

Not altogether happy with the result I moved on…subject, still trolls, medium now pastels

Hmn! Still not satisfied…probably need to spread my wing a little. Still on the road to producing something to appeal to the tinies, I decided on a dragon. And as I wanted to be a little more adventurous, I would add some gilding…one of the last things we were experimenting with in the art class.

I was reasonably happy with the movement of the beadt and I quite liked the wings. Of course this was done in acrylic, my favoured medium as it is so forgiving. I hadn’t thought through the gilding though…it should have been more chain mail and less manic badge collector.

Maybe the key was to limit my palette, keep to acrylic and try a more adult theme. Arthur, my go-to myth.

This I found much more satisfying. The shining sword, Excalibur, is a bit crooked but hey-ho, in the mists of the lake, who has a ruler to check.

My creative urge was still not satisfied. I liked the acrylic, had enjoyed reacquainting my self with gilding, had forgotten about the hair in the last effort and was really, I mean really, having fun.

So, wood spirit I thought and who better to gain inspiration from in regards to gold and hair and opulence than Klimt?

So, here we have it, the product of a whole day messing around and being creative. The answer to both challenges, being, in my head at least, a wood spirit and having extraordinary hair of gilded bark on one side and acrylic, applied like butter with a palette knife, (that was great fun), embellished with tendrils of Virgina Creeper to imitate curls on the other. Oh, and a pressed flower just because I had one. All spirits of the woods would have a flower in their hair I surmised.

There we have it, a griffitly day spent in the house with the sound of rain drumming an accompaniment and not for one moment did I feel guilty or that any time at all had been wasted. On the contrary, I felt relaxed and amused. At last, in my retirement, I understand the pull of dabbling with art media.

(My grateful thanks to resource images from Pinterest and of course Klimt, Golden Tears)