Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The stars had aligned..a giraffe painting

giraffe+starry sky+contemporary art+impasto+vibrant colours+NicseARTh
'The stars aligned - giraffe in impasto acrylic
61 x 24 cm
9.5 x 24 inches

I started this painting 17 weeks ago. How can I be so precise? Because I posted a photo of the early stages of it on my Instagram feed! 

How it all began

I'm not sure why I didn't carry on with it at the time but for some reason I didn't. Now, I'm glad of that because at the time I had painted the background green (using one of those cans of spray paint I mentioned in my last post) and I had planned to apply the paint in the same thick style as I did my rhino back at the start of the year which, as you can see, isn't the path I took when I did actually finish it this week.

starry sky+starry eyes+giraffe+animal art+impasto+vibrant+NicseARTh

The giraffe had been sitting dejectedly on one of my easels wondering if I would ever get round to finishing her and as I finished a commissioned landscape (which I'll blog about next week), and was thinking about what to paint next, she caught my eye and I suddenly had a wee spark of an idea. 


I took the canvas out to the garage and had at it with the midnight blue spray paint and added some spatters of other colours for the stars in the night sky. (Picasso had his blue and rose periods and it seems that I'm going through my starry sky period!)



I'd put masking fluid over the original giraffe. This is usually used for watercolour paint so I wasn't entirely sure how it would cope with acrylic spray paint. It turns out, not so well. I spent ages removing it (with a palette knife) as it wasn't for coming off that easily. It didn't matter too much as I knew I'd be adding lots of texture over the top of the giraffe anyway.

starry sky+starry eyes+giraffe+animal art+impasto+vibrant+NicseARTh


So with the night sky behind her, I decided to put stars in her eyes as well and was inspired by the amazingly beautiful eyes of Zeus, the little blind screech owl, whose eyes look like they contain the whole universe. (I suspect he'll feature in my art at some point in the future).

Rather than apply the paint thickly in little globs of colour like the rhino, I decided I wanted a different sort of texture, similar to the way I do my landscapes - more scraping the paint on with a palette knife and scraping it off again, giving a rougher texture which you can hopefully see in the close up shots (it's so very difficult to photograph a canvas this shape and size!)



The title was a line from a song by a band we discovered while on holiday. Have you noticed that there is always one song that you hear over and over which will forever remind you of a certain time and place? For us it was 'Say something' by a band called A Great Big World, a really beautiful song.


We downloaded their album when we got home and there is another really beautiful song on it which happens to have the line 'the stars had aligned' and it just seemed perfect for this pretty starry eyed creature and, for me, it ties in with the whole interconnectedness of all the life on this planet and beyond. (Even the band's name, A great big world, seems appropriate!)

Just to put the size into context:

Reuben, me and a starry eyed giraffe!

This is for sale in my Artfinder shop. However, it's also for sale directly from me (in which case I can donate a percentage to charity instead of paying it in gallery commission fees!). I've just discovered this great wee plug in for my blog (if you look at the top of my left hand side bar) where you can purchase directly from me - it takes you to paypal!) 

**UPDATE - This painting has sold (quickest ever!) so I've changed the painting in the plug in on the side bar in case you wondered what I was talking about!!

Thanks as always for popping by to visit my blog and I'll be linking as always to Paint Party Friday where I'll catch up with all the other creativity on the internet!

23 comments:

  1. well I think she is lovely, as are YOU!!
    I always enjoyed the scrape away technique , lol, I know it probably has a roper term which I do not know but the most luscious amazing things can be found beneath those layers of paint sometimes, and the act of scraping through them reveals much beauty!!
    When I was still paining and my eyes could still see I did this many times when not happy with a painting,, its almost impossible to replicate what is found under the layers making it even more special,, thsi lovely giraffe was worth the 17 weeks ,,

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    1. Aw thank you so much Laurie!, ha, yes, I have no idea what is the proper term for it either! And like you, I love that each painting will be unique because of the layers revealed.

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  2. LOVE, LOVE LOVE it! And LOVE the picture of you too!:-)

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    1. thank you so much Minnemie! You are too kind!

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  3. Bonjour,

    Une girafe magnifique aux couleurs ├ęclatantes et vivifiantes... J'aime son doux regard.

    Gros bisous ❀

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    1. je vous remercie beaucoup Martine . Je me suis beaucoup de plaisir de la peinture celui-ci!

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  4. Fantastic painting, love the texture, really beautiful. Have a happy PPF - although it's Thursday today! Hugs, Valerie

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    1. Thank you Valerie, ha yes, I'll 'see' you tomorrow at PPF!

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  6. she is absolutely magnificent so I can see why this painting sold immediately! And you my dear are looking fabulous! I am only now beginning to understand the layering, scraping and texture use with a palette knife (using cold wax and oil paint) and am enjoying it very much.

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  7. Gorgeous painting. So cute and beautiful. Colours are fabulous.
    Love ♥♥

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  8. Looks stunning! And I love the size as well. COngrats on the sale! :)

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  9. It is stunning and I love seeing Reuben photobombing so beautifully... he looks so composed lol... there is no surprise from me that this one sold in record time... it is a beautiful mix of textures and colours... really lovely... and i love the close ups sooo much... love how you are applying paint at the moment...xx

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  10. She is charming and she had patience with you! She knew that you'd some day create a beautiful sky around her.
    The texture is so rich and interesting.

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  11. She is beautiful Nic. I love how all of the pieces of her story came together so beautifully. Thank you for sharing her story and your process. Have a great weekend.

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  12. She is a stunner! Love the textures and the gorgeous sky.

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  13. Dejected no more! Your giraffe is gorgeous. I love all the colors used in the face. I'm glad you got back to finishing it up.

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  14. What a wonderful painting! That little giraffe looks totally happy to be finally finished. She is lovely. She made me smile, which is a very good thing.

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  15. This is beautiful!!!!! You did a fabulous well done.
    Nicole/Beadwright

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  16. Beautiful! Love the stars in his eyes! And also the perspective. No wonder it was sold right away! Please can you tell me some more about that plugin you found that takes one directly to Paypal? Looks like something I'd love on my blog ... :-)

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  17. Love this starry eyed giraffe. And Ruben peeking out behind you on the chair is a very handsome doggy.

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  18. Your giraffe is absolutely wonderful! Fabulous color combination and strokes! Love your work, Nic. :)

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  19. Congratulations on such a quick sale! And I am not at all surprised - She is beeeeeeeeeeeeautiful!!! I love the idea of the stars reflecting in her soulful eyes. Just gorgeous! :0)

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Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.

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