~ featuring the art of Cia Williford of Briarwood Studio ~

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mermaids and Chagall Chagrin

The latest Master that we were attempting to emulate in my painting class was Chagall. Hmmm, Chagall. I like his work, and then I don't like it. I like the dream quality, the lack of boundaries between worlds, the surprise elements. I don't like the "messiness", the nebulousness, the almost ugly faces he uses.

I really struggled with this one.

What I've learned is that I'm much too meticulous when it comes to my painting. I need to loosen up, learn to be a bit more free and daring. This is hard for someone who's on the anal retentive side (color outside the lines? Never!). *grin* (Is anyone else raising their hands? No? Just me? *sigh*)

Our theme was Mermaids. My first version of this Chagall-inspired work was much improved by my instructor's suggestion to add a highlight around the mermaid and to add more flowery messy bits to the border. Thanks, Tam!

Starting tomorrow, I'm going to work on my inner messy diva. She's in there somewhere. I know it. :) 


  1. Ha! I'm picking up what you're putting down about the messiness. I can't loosen up much either unless it's with a specific messy project. Why make an ugly face if you can do a pretty one? I love your mermaid! I just commented on her on Tam's site in the Mermaid week thread. She is gorgeous! I love the border around her and of course the cow jumping over the moon! I can't wait to finish my angel so I can get started on mermaids too!

  2. Cute, cute, cute =) I love the fabulous little angel kitty in the corner! Kathryn

  3. Oh man, do I understand how you feel. I am really struggling with Chagall too in the course. I like/dislike Chagall for the same reasons you mentioned. I think you have done lovely work here though!!


  4. She's beautiful! I love the messy border... it's like seaweed, and gives the feel of vignetting, like you peering through to her.

    Perhaps finger painting needs to be on the agenda? :)

  5. It's beautiful Cia- but I can completely understand the struggle of trying to work in the feeling of work you're not inspired by. I guess it's good to do that once in awhile though as it makes us grow in our artwork and try things we might not have otherwise. I love the little kitty in the corner and I really love the feeling of texture in your "messy" border :)


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