Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Green Gate-a fantasy painting in process

There is something mysterious about this gate. It intrigues me. I took its photo on the way to a Sufi gathering last month, and it still calls to me. Inspires me.

Today I began figuring out how I might paint it.

Just a quick watercolor, I thought, just to put some color on paper.

But then I began analyzing it. What is it that calls to me so? How do the composition and values work to draw the eye  back to that bright spot? How might I change the composition to make it more effective?

Now I've really opened the gate to inspirations!

What if I make the gate a different style? The style would reflect the world behind the gate, the world the gate leads to. What world do I want it to lead to? What styles of gate are possible?

So I spent some time on the computer getting ideas. Wow!
I know what I don't want. I don't want a modern looking gate, or a polished wood gate, or a gate you can see clearly through. I don't want a wrought iron gate.

Definitely a wooden gate. Maybe you can just see little peeks of garden between the boards. Do I want a window in the gate? Should the gate be freshly painted? Or weathered?

And what style of hinge might my gate have? The hinge can be anything! It can be a plain wrought iron rectangle, black or rusted. It can be a dragon! It can even be invisible, on the other side.

And what about the latch?

Should the gate have an ornament on it, a little plaque perhaps?

Well, of course the answers depend on what the world behind the gate will look like, the story the gate is in.

Again, more ideas of what I want and what I don't want.

Not a romance with roses, not a garden where lovers roam. Maybe in another painting.

Not a haunted house, or a brick cottage garden. Not, I think, an English country garden. Nothing formal.

A Fairyland?
A castle garden?
A place of mystery, definitely! With a figure in red at the top of the stairs, just going out of sight to the right.

I could use one palate of colors on this side of the gate, and another set on the other side; for example, I might have predominately reds and golds on one side, and blues and greens on the other side. Or one side could be monochromatic. Or the whole painting could be monochromatic with just little bits of a contrasting color to attract the eye.

Color will be very important to convey mood.

Looking at the photo again, maybe I don't want to make big changes. Not for the first go, anyway.

This could be the beginning of a series of gate paintings, each leading to a different world or a different mood. Or the lead in to a fantasy world where my stories take place.

Or it could express the Sufi world I entered into that day....

But I do want a woman in a long red dress at the top of the stairs, just disappearing off to the right.

What do you think?

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