As usual, I want this piece to tell a story and cause some sort of response in the viewer's mind. For me, it speaks of the enchantment that children see in the world, and the precious sense that anything is possible. I also want viewers to reflect for a moment, on why we tend to believe that only children can feel that precious sense of awe at every little thing they behold. I hope something along those lines occurs when people look at this piece, but I can already predict which visitors will stop and gaze at it and which will glance quickly, show little interest, and pass on by. That's what art is all about. Something that touches one person deeply has little affect on the next. I've learned to enjoy that aspect of showing my art! So if this little cherub in her taffeta dress evokes a positive response in you, my viewer, I am thrilled to know it.
Beyond the emotive characteristics, I had several technical goals in mind when I started this piece. I'm not sure I realized all of them completely, but I made some advancements in my understanding, so it was a successful project.
One of my goals was to overcome my intimidation with using solvents. I used the Winsor Newton distilled turpentine, on a cotton round, to blend the sky and the stone ledge. This time, I did not just timidly swipe across the area and hope for the best. I dug in, I mushed it around, I rubbed it with my fingers until it wouldn't blend any more. Then I applied more layers of pencil and more solvent and repeated the process again and again, until I really understood how the solvent and the pencil pigment interacted with each other. I also learned that once the pigment has been altered by the solvent, it reacts a little bit differently to subsequent layers. New layers of dry pencil applied to those areas will blend VERY smoothly. My conclusion finally: Solvents are our friends.
Another goal of mine for some time has been to create works with a strong sense of tonality. I think I tend to use too much of a variety of colors, and this time I wanted to stick to a general tonality of cool colors, predominantly blue. I wanted to carry the same hues throughout every part of the piece. I even put purples and blues in her skin and hair, if you look closely. But it was tough. I found myself leaning toward the colors that portrayed the local color of things, instead of using my imagination to assign unifying colors to them that coordinated with the blue tonality. I think it requires a certain type of mindset to really unify the color scheme in a piece. I'll keep working on that.
Of course, I always have the goal of telling a story and provoking the viewer to think a little bit. I can't tell if that goal was realized until I hear some feedback, though. Time will tell.
Now I'm staring at an empty desk, with a couple of new ideas brewing... there is never a shortage of ideas, it's only a question of how best to bring each one out on paper.