Sundowner (acrylic, 22×34)
Seated on a lofty perch while watching the sunset with friends and loved ones is a traditional ritual practiced in Africa called “going for a sundowner.” It epitomizes the final beams of light in a day.
I began constructing Sundowner by looking at my sketches and photos and reminiscing on my three years in Kenya. The African grey crowned cranes symbolize good luck and loyalty. In this couple, one looks to the future while the other reflects on the day. Cranes mate for life– representing a lifetime of uncertainty together and the serenity of watching the sunset.
I prepared a Sintra board with gesso, tinted with Payne’s grey and burnt umber. I sketched with white charcoal, working backwards, painting the white values first, middle values second and then the darker values. After the monochromatic values were established, I applied my colors.
With acrylics I always work over the light values in several layers to give it the needed punch. I will often wash over my whites with color for vibrancy. For my acrylic pieces, I apply two coats of acrylic matte medium to bring out more color.
In kindergarten I drew a horse with its head lowered while eating grass. This unique work gained recognition from my teacher and planted the seeds for my art career as she gave me lessons. Animals have been my fixation and a part of my artistic nature since before I was able to draw. Now an adult, Zoology–one of my majors at Michigan State gives me complete insight to my subject matter.
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