A Handful of Love is the penultimate artwork in my series of six studies of old hands. To share with you something of the process of creating this artwork, I have compiled this montage of six stages from the initial blocking in to the finished portrait. As with all of the ‘A Handful of …’ pictures, this is a pastel painting on Pastelmat paper.
As someone who feels strongly about the great gifts that come from intergenerational relationships, A Handful of Love feels like a universally recognisable representation of that bond, and the connection we can foster.
I appreciate that it isn’t so easy to see the details and how they change in this montage. If you use social media, you can see larger images of these six stages that I have shared on my Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter.
Once the full series of hands studies has been completed, I will make available limited edition prints and greetings cards of A Handful of Love, A Handful of Faith, A Handful of Lotus Seeds, A Handful of Salt, A Handful of Chillies and the final work in the series, the yet to be finished A Handful of Coffee.
Thanks go to Réhahn Photography for his amazing image.
I first saw the photograph which inspired this portrait a few years ago, an instantly fell in love with this little girl. There is something so engaging about her joyful smile and the innocence she conveys as she proudly shows the blue of the indigo plant on her hands. Perhaps she has been doing something mischievous, or perhaps she has been helping as others hand dye fabric according to traditional methods. Either way, the simple pleasure of her actions is a universal experience, and is delightfully captured in this portrait.
I have wanted to draw her ever since I first saw her, and then when I discovered the image which inspired my drawing An Age of Indigo, I knew that they would be a perfect pair. At opposite ends of the generational spectrum, they both exude joy, and both make me smile as I look back at them.
Whilst drawing this portrait I scanned the picture at regular intervals to document the drawing process. This record is a visual diary for me, and a way to share how I work and what goes into creating an artwork like this. I posted the steps of this and many other artworks on my Facebook page in the Works in Progress album, so that my followers can join me on the journey. I love this opportunity to connect the solo work of an artist in her studio in Cornwall with a worldwide audience, sharing my thoughts at each point along the way.
This little girl has been a delight to have on my drawing board, and I am glad to have had this time getting to know her.
The original artwork, limited edition prints and greetings cards featuring An Apprentice of Indigo are available to purchase, please contact me directly for more information.
A great many thanks go to Réhahn Photography for his generosity in allowing me to reference his incredible photograph.