Yesterday, I collected my latest pastel painting from the photographer and took it to the local craft shop to have it framed.
The platypus is rising through deep water to the surface, in a graceful, joyful ascent to the light. As I worked on the animal, I found it surprisingly easy to give it form and depth and texture, and I felt it come alive under my hands. I had a struggle with the light shining through the water, and in the end, I was defeated by the grid lines I had put in when I first started the painting, to guide my drawing. I thought I’d done them faint enough, but they insisted on showing through the aqua background no matter how many layers I put on.
This is an important watershed (no pun intended) for me, as it is my first painting done without any help from my ex-teacher. I alone did it.
Platypus Ascending. Copyright 2013, Christina Houen
I’ve ordered a print run of cards from it, and now I’m dreaming of a book of paintings with meditations written with my daughter, Nicola-Jane le Breton. I will keep my focus on wildlife, specifically of the Caldera Green Cauldron, where there is still great bio-diversity, a precious heritage we must work to preserve.