The third in my series of PAINT 7 lettering art pieces is for MAY DAY. May Day – 1st May – is that day when Spring tips over into Summer – when the Oak King of Summer takes over from the Holly King of Winter. There is a noticeable change just now, as the trees are suddenly in full leaf, and absolutely everything seems to be blossoming and flowering, and the birds are all singing. Driving over to Great Bromley a few days ago I noticed that all the big oaks are in beautiful green-gold leaf now – only a couple of weeks ago they had been almost bare still. It seems like a miracle every year!
I have chosen the quote from the American 20th century poet e. e. cummings, “everywhere a miracle occurs”. The colours associated with this time of year in the Celtic tradition are green, red, white and silver. I had a bit of a problem with this when I started planning the design. I couldn’t see how the red or silver could look appropriate. Then I thought about the reddish-bronze colouring of the new foliage on my roses and magnolia. And I thought about using the silver as a shiny border, befitting a miracle!
First I designed a layout for the words, working on linking the letter shapes into a cohesive whole.
These are the paint colours I used – plus a white acrylic ink Stabilo pen. Yellow does not feature in the associated colours, but I needed the Lemon Yellow and Primrose Yellow to vary and lighten the greens, and to mix with the Light Red to make more bronze-y tones.
First I painted the background of each of the seven gesso boards. I used flecks and overlapping strokes to suggest leaves flickering in the breeze. I left a 1cm border all around each of the painted squares.
Next I traced down the lettering design and highlighted it with the white acrylic pen. Lastly I painted the borders with a flat brush and Golden Acrylic’s Iridescent Silver.
I tried to make all seven as identical as possible, but they are each original paintings with slight variations.
Here is the finished result, in a white wood tray frame.
They are strung for hanging, but will also stand up by themselves on a bookshelf, or mantlepiece, or wherever you wish.
They are each £67.00 with free packing and postage to any UK mainland address. You can find them on the PAINT 7 menu above.
I have recently completed the next two paintings in my Essex Paths & Bridleways series, as well as the March painting for my Twelve Months on an Essex Island!
The twelfth path was along the River Colne at Wivenhoe, walking down river towards Alresford Creek.
And the thirteenth painting in this series is Early Spring Field Path, which is of the field south of the Gosbeck’s Archaeological Site, going down towards Oliver’s Lane, in Shrub End west of Colchester.
My March Mersea Island visit occurred in an unexpected way!
My Land Rover needed a turbo hose replacing, and as my usual garage couldn’t fit me in for about three weeks I took it down to RST Land Rovers in West Mersea. They were happy to fix it while I waited so I went off down Kingsland Road to the beach for an hour or so until it was ready to collect. It was a beautiful morning, with some cirrus cloud in a blue sky. The tide was high and I had a lovely walk.
Fortunately, although I didn’t have my ‘official’ project sketch book with me, I did have a tiny sketch book in my bag, along with a Blackwing pencil. I did some tiny sketches, and sat on a breakwater to write down my impressions, as of course I didn’t have my voice recorder with me, either. I was able to take some photos on my phone. When I got home I decided that I had quite enough to work with for the painting, the findings drawing, and the notes for the future book – I didn’t need to make another trip!
The Findings drawing is only 15cm square, and this one shows three mussel shells and two flints.
The three paintings can all be found in Gallery 2022, and the Findings drawing on the Small Paintings and Drawings page.
The second release in my year-long PAINT 7 project takes place today!
The Spring or Vernal Equinox is the moment in the year when the day and night are of equal length. From now on the days will get longer as we move through Spring into Summer. It is the day that really feels like the beginning of Spring – at last! – after the cold and dark of Winter.
So this time I have chosen for my e.e.cummings quote:
“sunlight and singing welcome your coming”
For each of the seven near-identical paintings being released today, I used the colours traditionally associated with this season: green, yellow and purple.
I used the words of the quote to design a layout first, so that the letters formed a ‘net’ with the negative spaces between the lines creating colour fields for the paint.
You can see how battered and stuck together with magic tape this layout paper is, from all the tracing down!
I painted a background of yellows and greens onto each of the seven small gesso panels, and then traced down the layout and began to add additional colours, including some gold oil pastel to some of the spaces.
When I had finished painting I went over all the letter lines with a purple acrylic ink pen.
You can see the gold oil pastel shining in the photo above!
Finally, I framed each of the paintings in simple white wood tray frames, which are strung on the back for hanging, although they will stand up by themselves on a bookshelf, mantlepiece, piano . . .
Although the seven paintings are near-identical they are each individual original paintings by me.
They are available now on the PAINT 7 page – click on PAINT 7 on the menu bar above.
They are £67.00 each, which includes postage and packing to any UK mainland address.
Happy Spring Equinox! 🙂