Two years ago I attended a women's retreat in Colorado. It was an incredible experience to be held in a circle of 20 wise and kind women of all ages and backgrounds. It is rare in this modern age to be able to be open and raw with a group of people you never met before. And still we felt safe to talk, dance, scream and cry together.
After one of the sessions I made a sketch on my journal, showing a woman connected from the ground to the sky through a string. Back then I did't even think about painting, let alone changing careers. This vision just came to me and I kept it.
As I started playing with watercolors last year I remembered that cosmic woman that I draw in my journal. I made a new sketch, now showing the woman connected to a galaxy, and surrounded by stars and planets.
But you know, sometimes paintings evolve on their own...
The second sketch had to wait a couple more months until I had some days alone dog-sitting. Since the dogs I was watching spent the afternoons napping, I really didn't have an excuse to not to paint.
I wanted to make a very dark background trying a technique where you put several layers until you are basically saturating the paper. Doing this will also add texture and a wider range of colors. I wanted to make a very feminine warm background, so my first layer was pink, then some red, violet and a very grainy black (Lunar Black). When it was still wet I put a little bit of opaque white watercolor and let it spread on its own. And on those spots I painted a small dot with a silver metallic ink.
As for the woman there, I wanted to give her an earthy tone, and since I still have that sample of Daniel Smith Mineral Watercolors, I choose the ones on the red sands card: Bronzite Genuine, Burnt Bronzite Genuine and Red Fuchsite Genuine.
The Woman is growing roots, attaching or holding herself to the ground so she doesn't fall into space. The ground is painted using the Sedona Genuine and the Yavapai Genuine pigments. The woman also appears to be worshiping a Galaxy, but in reality she is looking for deeper answers. And she cannot see what lies behind because there is a silver crescent that prevents her to see the light.
OK, so when I started working on this piece, my idea was to have the Big Bang behind the crescent. Then painting inside the crescent the map of the Planck mission showing the Cosmic Microwave Background, since that is the last thing we will ever be able to see with telescopes. That represents the observable limit, at least in physics. Since the Planck map is mainly blue and orange, I realized it would not match very well with the color palette I was using. So I ended up making a wavy background with the metallic ink in silver and gold. Somehow that looks more rigid, and to me, that represents our mind.
We try, or at least I try to explain everything with my head, with reason and logic. But to understand the deepest mysteries of the Universe we need a different tool: our hearts and our souls. Yes, it sounds cheesy, but I realized that what this woman is looking for is not the Big Bang, it is the greatest mystery of all: God.
The original and print options can be acquired through this link.
Let me know if you are interested in the original and we can arrange a video call or an in person meeting so you can see it in more detail and discuss shipping options. Contact me