Father and Child

I found this picture a few months ago on facebook and took inspiration.

Dancer and baby

Admittedly, at the time I wasn’t sure why it appealed, so with my usual flair for the reckless, I blithely went ahead and started painting. Focusing on the anatomy of the buffed musculature system analysed in tones of magenta I followed the yellow brick road wondering where this painting was going to take me. Why magenta? Because I discovered the colour while painting another subject and decided I wanted to experiment with its tones.

Strength and Vulnerability Work in Progress

Strength and Vulnerability
Work in Progress

Standing back to view my handiwork, I wasn’t happy. “What to do?” I asked anyone who would listen. My art tutor Stephen Buntrock  suggested glazing the figures in Quinaquadine Rose, so I did.

Strength and Vulnerability Work in Progress

Strength and Vulnerability
Work in Progress

Didn’t like it, the figures looked like skinned rabbits. Taking it home, my husbands response was a definitive, “Don’t like it, it gives me the creeps.” With some trepidation I left the painting in the middle of the lounge the better to study it at each available moment hoping for inspiration. An image of a golden ribbon wrapping itself around man and baby floated past my minds eye which bought about the next question. How earth do I mix the colour gold? As it turned out, it was easy. Google the answer. Taking a dollop of lemon yellow and Burnt Sienna mixed with white, voila! The colour appeared as if by magic. I sketched in the ribbon aka the umbilical cord with chalk to guide my fine brush. Excited by the progress, I became very brave grabbing my trusty rag rubbing the colour with a burnishing movement where necessary.

Part 3

I couldn’t believe the difference. For the purposes of realism, shadowing and highlights were required on the umbilical cord, and the tonal shadowing on the mans shoulders arm and face needed alteration. Mixing Vermillion with Spectrum Yellow gave a warm orange which was lightly rubbed into the required areas. And the final stroke of genius even if do say so myself? Rubbed a mixture of Permanent mauve and Pthalo Blue into the background.

Father and Child Oil on Canvas 50cm x 78cm For Sale

Father and Child
Oil on Canvas
50cm x 78cm
For Sale

I now know why this picture struck a cord. It reminds me of the bond between my husband and our son, of my male cousins and their children, of my grandfather and his daughters and grandchildren. The Protector.

 

Please follow and like us:
0

About Ellis Burgess

A number of people have said that ‘it’ (whatever ‘it’ is) is in Ellis’s genes and to some extent they may be correct. Her grandmother painted and so did her mother. Marge Barley started painting when she was 9 years old and achieved some acclaim in New Zealand. In turn, her mother, Ellis’s Grandmother started much later in life more from compulsion than conscious desire. Ten years ago a well-intentioned friend shoved a paintbrush into Ellis’s clenched fist, forcefully moving her hand between paint pot and paper until it moved of its own volition in a frenetic frenzy attended by a torrent of tears born of bewilderment and frustration, unaware of the wild colour patterning the fury within. Ellis’s mother had passed away three years earlier from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. From these inauspicious beginnings Ellis began to paint, and for a short time attended classes at the Hamilton Society of Arts in New Zealand. Seven years ago, Ellis and her husband moved to the Gold Coast where she met Stephen Buntrock of the Gold Coast Art School. With his encouragement, painting became more than just something to do. It became a passion. Another passion is dance. Ellis loves the musical synergy of movement, the human form working with rhythm mood and emotion, sensing the freedom as the dancer soars across the floor with effortless ease. Like a lot of little girls, she was sent off to ballet in a somewhat desperate attempt by her grandfather to stop her stomping around the house. Eleven years later Ellis was selected to dance with NZ Ballet Company in a season of the Nutcracker. Did Ellis stop stomping? No. Ballet was to be her life; that was until she met the man of her dreams. Never the less, ballet has featured in much of her adult life by way of teaching and outlets of involvement. Ellis quickly discovered another outlet was painting. She spent a long time pondering on the skill set required to achieve her vision; how to portray the artistry of movement, the musicality and rhythm of dance, and the genius of the human form on canvas. Attempting different techniques, she learnt she is not an illustrator, but a painter who gravitated towards free movement. In her quieter moments Ellis often wonders what her mother would say if she were still here, left only with her paintings languishing against the wall. As an apprentice in the art of painting Ellis hopes the path ahead will be clear, perhaps meander elegantly at her will. Maybe it will broaden out to a huge piazza where she may sit for a long while, then later choose the many paths that transverse the piazza or continue again down the main road.