Youtube has meant a lot to me. I'm on the autistic spectrum (just found that out, sixty years late) and have somewhat singular interests and no one to really talk to about them. Now, through the magic of algorithms one interest area after another pops up and it's like potato chips.. can't eat just one. Through an interest in astrology, then channeling I found Atala Dorothy Toy, a lady who photographs nature spirits. This has been an obsession of mine since I happened on The Magic of Findhorn back in the late seventies, when you had to buy books to follow your interests. (feels like the Dark Ages) I was like the kids in Peter Pan - "I believe" For all the years since I've been interested in secret, because NO ONE else wants to talk about this. My mom moved in with me when she was in her seventies, and although I did not mention what I was doing- stuff like setting up nature sanctuaries, a place you promise to stay out of so wild things can be safe - she would report that she SAW tiny little beings, like pudgy naked children, running all over laughing and playing, and sometimes big tall pretty ones dancing. I was so envious. I never saw anything. She passed away some years back, and since I didn't get good enough descriptions from her about what she saw I couldn't make drawings, and I really felt an opportunity had been missed, that I just had no talent here. Then I saw these photos, and Atala saying not everyone sees things, some just feel. Well! I feel all the time. My place over the years has become much more peaceful, beautiful, magical feeling, like it wants to take care of you. A couple of storms of the century have been through in the last couple of years and done no damage, although one nice firewood oak was dropped out where it couldn't hurt anyone and was perfect to cut up. I resolved to take my camera and find some of these faces in nature. I didn't find any, but I took a lot of pictures of things that appealed to me, including this scene of two trees on opposite sides of the creek that are holding their roots together and shoring each other up, lots of trees on the side of the creek fall over after a big storm and take a bit of creek edge with them. These two look sort of male and female to me, not hard to see, and seem to be smiling in the middle with a bit of a froggy face. I put a metal leaf frame around it and continued the main elements, and added the swirling energies that I'm pretty sure I feel. I like this. I think I will be doing more.
Ruth Dryden Deshaies Out of the Box acrylic and metal leaf 20x24
I will no doubt be messing with this for some time to come, it's my first serious attempt to paint a person with my underpainting technique. It works great on dogs and cats but flesh tones are much trickier, as well as getting it smooth. Miss the easy fur textures. Ruth was our dear friend and fabulous artist (a painting of hers is at the end of this post) She is the only artist we have ever collected. She passed away over a year ago but still hangs out at our house. Bob started this portrait of her in airbrush years ago and never got around to finishing it, so I used it as an experiment to see if my technique would work here. Mixed result. I'm glad I'm not a portrait painter. The gilt frame goes on everything right now, and I love the way it looks here. I'll probably be adding touches to it too from time to time
My first trial! I didn't photograph every single glaze and rehighlight.
Untitiled Ruth Dryden Deshaies 30x40 mixed media
I can't say how much I love this work! It is endlessly fascinating, picks up light in the most magical ways. She used gold paper candy wrappers, cutouts, reflective wrapping papers, fabric paints... and made it all sing.