It has almost taken me longer to get this piece posted than it do to do the piece. I swear it seems like my brain has melted lately. After 2 1/5 months of constant headaches I guess it makes sense although doesn't make it any more fun. I have been doing Physical therapy which is helping some.
On to more pleasant thoughts, Since this is the first block of the year I got to see if I would enjoy painting my blocks and then see about how I wanted to bead them. Like the photos that I used last year part of the challenge for this year will be balancing out the painting and the beading. I will also be using embroidery for the finer details.
I am using a poplin weight fabric as my "canvas". My first step was to prime it with acrylic medium. I am using Fluid acrylics mostly for my painting along with some of the different Jacquard brand fabric paints. This one was particularly easy to do since I didn't have any background details (like branches or roots) to include. I just sat down and had fun making a watery world for my honu to swim in. I layered a couple of different layers of techniques. One of the things I really like about the fluid acrylics is that you can treat them almost like watercolors. I enjoy working with watercolors but knew doing handwork on watercolors wouldn't work well.
After painting my background I copied my honu onto medium weight interfacing and painted it. using a separate layer for my honu allowed me to not have to mask out the space for it on my painting and to work in a more fluid way on the background. After she was painted I cut out my honu and then collaged her onto the background and then covered the whole piece with a coat of a thinned Lumiere paint which gave the hole a glistening quality like water.
I have a lot of information on symbolism of honu/turtles and will split it between the two posts for this piece. Honu is what the Hawaiians call the green sea turtles. We lived in Hawaii for 2 years (there are some nice advantages to moving with the military.) We went snorkeling a fair amount and found my times swimming with the Honu amazingly spiritual. I always felt calmer when I was with them. If you were calm and just being they would let you swim along with you often within touching distance. Since many of them are 4-5 feet long it is inspiring. I have them swim right towards me like they were as curious about me as I was about them. We have several pieces of art that include honu and they still call to me.
Sea Turtles symbolize the bravery of the young. They have a connection to the moon. They represent the ability to travel long distances to reach home (seems pretty appropriate with all of the moving and traveling I have done as a military spouse). They remind you of your duty to the completion of your life path. They symbolize wisdom, longevity, patience, tenacity, self-reliance and carrying your home on your back.