‘Our peace shall stand as firm as Rocky Mountains’.
Inspired by feelings of empowerment and strength within from one mountain was the basis of this collection of 5 new works.
The Gold Collection was inspired by a desire to revisit and explore in more depth my signature black and white composition of a favourite Wanaka landmark of mine, The Peninsula. It has offered me continued inspiration and motivation from the beginning of my art journey. Often I take a photo of a landscape and am inspired to paint it soon after but then the photo becomes relegated to my ‘Inspiration’ folder and I seldom paint from it again.
The concept for this collection was that this time I would explore and go much deeper with my interpretation of this mountain by reversing the way I usually paint black mountains and light grey clouds and then really pushing myself to see if I could create further interpretations. Then one afternoon the sun was streaming into my studio and flickering across my paper (not exactly easy to paint with the strong light but oh so beautiful to look at and photograph) and I remembered I had a pot of gold paint that I had been given that I had never used and as I had been recently influenced by a book on Japanese art and design and specifically some gold prints; it all seemed to fall into place that gold should most definitely feature in these new works.
Even though I had the urge to challenge myself with a different format of black and white painting I had never included gold before so wondered how on earth I was going to apply watercolour paint with the gold acrylic paint and get them to still produce a magical result…… Rather than over think it and plan how it might work I decided to just start! All I did was a little colour study as a test with lots of water and also more of a dry brush technique on a different sheet of paper and that was enough for me to feel like jumping right back into the big work and just getting on with it. But no matter how scary or fearful it might have seemed I knew that only good would come from pushing myself outside my comfort zone. I knew that the risk could potentially be worth it but of course I was worried that I would ruin a perfectly good, strong and balanced black and white painting. I’ve said it before but this quote was very much playing over in my mind…..
‘Fear is an opportunity to grow.’
And so those first few brushstrokes of gold didn’t end up a disaster at all and I was thrilled with how they complemented the black sky and white mountain composition. One thing I have learnt from my black and white art is that if in doubt it is always best to keep the composition simple and not overwork the paint. So I knew if I only added a little gold that it would act as an accent and complement the existing mountains and clouds rather than overpower them. By capturing the small shafts of sunshine that cast their golden glow on the rocky headland I would retain a strong black and white landscape as well as giving the impression of sunlight flickering across the mountains.
As much as I’ve wanted to get back into painting I’ve found that my desire to simply hold and snuggle and enjoy my new man is stronger! (perhaps I know he is my last baby but more I think it is that I recognise now oh how the days are long but the years are short). So the release of my Gold Collection is just outside of the August timeframe that I promised but I haven’t let that stress me out. Taking the time to get to know and enjoy my new baby has been priority number one. Somehow I don’t think I will ever regret taking the time to enjoy kissing Xavier’s head repeatedly and feeling my heart beating against his with the weight of his beautiful sleeping little body and breathing making me feel so complete and happy.
He is 7 weeks now and such a lovely, lovely contented, calm and happy little man. I am so very happy with him in my arms and seldom yearn for wishing I could do more work, those days will return I know so for now I will draw all the creative inspiration I can from him, simply by resting and taking life slow. (well as much as I can take things slowly as we move house again next month and I’ll be releasing my new sunset print range!) So the busy will return and I will start a new collection entitled ‘Sunrise in the snowy mountains’ (see my Instagram or Facebook for all the incredible sunrise photos my husband takes for me at his work in the snow!) So I know that at least I have taken the time to heal my body and to enjoy what is truly important as once that time is gone, it is very much gone. I want to remember my newborn snuggles so very dearly and I think all my time spent with him in my arms the last 7 weeks has left a very firm impression in my mind. I seem to often say this in my posts but once again contentment is very high in my life right now, just when I think that life is good, it goes and expands and I feel like I am rewarded again and again for this slower pace of life.
I hope that you can see a little piece of my slow and contentment in these new works and if you do I’d love to hear from you! firstname.lastname@example.org
Shop the Gold Collection at www.sophiemelville.com