Friday, September 12, 2008

Honu Swimming

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.


Carol said...

I found this post most interesting. I have been studying animal totems. It appears this sea turtle is yours.

Angela said...

Actually I have more than one animal that will included in this piece. Some which have been stronger at different times in my life than others. My strongest and lifelong companion is the bear.

If you are interested in animal totems and have not already done so I recommend "Animal Speak" by Ted Andrews it is a great book and full of information.

KV said...

I love the sea turtle, Angela! Your background painting for it is gorgeous . . .

Kathy V in NM

heidibeads said...

Love how your piece is coming and I appreciate the work that has gone in to it. How big is it? Love the symbolism behind the honu and will look forward to the other animals, too.

Angela said...

Each block is 4" x 6" The collage is 23" x 36" and the quilt will be 36" x 60".

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