Here is my story and explanation for this digital compilation/collage.
I seem to start my paintings with one tiny component which leads to an intuitive approach to building up my visual story.
All about Elsie and Kelly
This painting started with the beautiful bird, the blue tit. Blue tits range throughout Europe (widespread in the UK), Asia and North West Africa. Which is probably why I like the little guys.
My character’s name is Elsie which was my grandmother’s name, and seemed fitting for a young lady with beehive hair. Though I don’t believe my grandmother ever sported such a do.
Elsie is a born a caregiver and caretaker. Today is a beautiful day. She loves her dress she put on because it makes her feel like part of the earth.
It is a magical dress helping her connect with nature. It helps her move seamlessly from inside her little house, to the outside into the garden and fields. She slyly made the walls of the house have the same transparency as her dress which allows the outside in. That little magic factoid makes Elsie a happy puppy!
Elsie, has always known she could fly. Sometimes in her dreams she is running in the green grass fields behind the house. When the impulse swoops her up, she simply bends her knees into a deep squat and jumps. Each jump takes her higher and higher into the blue skies she loves. Then she can soar with the birds she loves. Maybe a trampoline would help her fly higher?
One one such trip she met Kelly – a flirty little Blue Tit.
Kelly bird, has 5 tiny eggs she is hatching. Today she implored Elsie to look after them for her while she goes on a quest to fly to the moon and back. Kelly claims she has heard a call for help which she cannot ignore. She believes it is her mate who needs to give her an important message.
The only way to find out where he is is to fly to the moon. The path will be laid out the next time the moon is full (tonight). If she follows that moonlight path across the lake, she will find her answer.
Elsie is not entirely convinced that Kelly is not just taking a time out from the nurturing process that is involved in hatching her babies. Her question for Kelly bird is: “How do you think my babysitting your eggs in my gorgeous beehive hair is going to keep them warm and incubating while you are off doing, what again?
Being a bit fey, even considering her doubts, she has already decided to help out and look after these future little babies for Kelly bird.
Her house is warm and full of fragrance from the flowers inside. A safe colorful place in the event those little eggs hatch in Kelly bird’s absence.
I started by using a stock photo of a blue tit to make a digital pencil drawing of a blue tit. Once I had that drawing done I imported it into my main painting in the app Procreate on my iPad Pro.
I usually start my ladies by drawing the face and eyes. This time I wanted to incorporate the whole figure into the painting so worked on scale and balance for Elsie.
I admit that her beehive hair was influenced by artist Kara Strachan Bullock’s nestie girls. I am friends with her on Facebook and I love how she buries bird eggs into these nest hairdos. I bought one of her paintings just recently and I have it up on my inspiration wall in my studio. It is called The Visitor. I really do love her style.
I created the background for Fly Me To The Moon, first by painting in Procreate, then exporting that layer and using a variety of iPad apps to add grunge and texture.
The flowers are from photo’s I took at a winery and the Gerber daisies I took at the flower market in Amsterdam.
The daisies were digitally altered and manipulated and cropped to make the bottom half of her dress.
As things progressed, I really loved how her dress was see through – almost like a chameleon blending into its surroundings.
Finally I used the 2 photos below for the flowers at her feet in her little house.
My stories seem to develop alongside the painting process which is fun.
So this was a little peek into my process of building my art with stories to tell.
Let me know if you like Elsie and Kelly bird. She is available for purchase.