Monday, September 12, 2011

In the Moment

The image is 36 inches by 36 inches. It took me 4 months to complete. Four more images to go in this series!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Slow and Steady...

Slowly I have been moving forward with this piece. It is the first painting of a five image series. The content of this series has been inspired from vintage photography and power symbols. I have had a lot of fun trying to reproduce the sepia tones and hand painted colors found in vintage postcards and antique photographs. 

I am over half way done with this painting. I am looking forward to deepening the dark tones and lightening up the highlights. This is when the magic truly begins to happen!
Eventually I will add hints of color to excite life in the

Every painting is a journey!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh my!

I was inspired to do this piece based on the concept of animal totems. I have alway been attracted to large cats. I often illustrate tigers in my work, but I have never painted one so large! The tiger symbol is often associated with power, ferocity and sensuality. In this image the woman comfortably stands next to the royal beast. 

The image to the right is the second stage of the painting. After I completed the sketch on the primed canvas (image below), I painted over the image with a raw umber. From there I used a soft cloth to carve out the figures and forms. The next step is to paint the entire image with a monochrome palette. 


Diana is complete!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Tortoise and the Hare...

The other week I began adding color. I painted the two faces for two hours before I decided to wipe them off and start over. I tried to rush the process and it ended up taking longer with unsatisfactory results.
 The following day I returned to the studio and gave myself an hour to work. Limiting my time, forcing myself to slow down and focusing on a small area, made the process feel more manageable. This strategy is helpful because I often get excited about completing an image and forget how much time and patience it takes to make something of quality. I still have about fifteen more hours of painting before I can start thinking of the completed picture.
In the mean time I will reread the famous Aesop's Fable about the tortoise and the hare!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Persephone - A Change of Season

'A Change of Season' was inspired by the mythological story of Persephone. I am intrigued how the human figure can be used to illustrate the phenomenon of season change, when put into the context of a story. This image illustrates the moment Hades pulls Persephone to the underworld and marks the beginning of the winter season.
    I finished this oil painting two months ago. It is the first oil painting I completed after moving away from this medium eight years ago. After living with this piece in my house for a few months, it has reminded me of the love I have for oil painting. The oil medium produces a richness in color that compares with no other paint medium I have worked with.  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Coloring a New World...

I began to work color into the painting. At this stage I have done a rub out of the image and painted it in monochrome.
I will be working a few more weeks on this painting, ... and I will love every minute of it!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Diana's Return from the Hunt...

I started a new oil painting. The other week when I was wandering around the library I rediscovered Peter Paul Rubens. I fell in love with his exploration of the Goddess Diana, the Huntress. My favorite image is titled "Diana Returning from the Hunt". The image details the goddess and her companions encountering a band of satyrs. I cropped the image to feature Diana and the her ladies. I like the subtleties of the women's expressions and the opportunity to practice portraiture.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Fortune of the Three Bees....

"Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today."
—Robert McKee

I have always had a fascination with the play between fantasy and reality. Often art projects are born through my daydreams. It is a powerful feeling to eventually bring dreams to life and share them.
    I began making these sculptures not knowing exactly how they would come out. While I was building them a story began to form in my mind urging these fantastic creatures into existence.
My pleasure in creating art is experienced by stretching the limits of what appears on the surface and mixing it with what I want to see. In this visual journal I hope to share some of my stories and process with you.

-Natalia Ella