I totally enjoyed researching, designing and painting this porcelain vase, which I titled "Nature of Orb Spiders." This painting was exhibited in the non competition International exhibit of the TIPP 2012. As discussed in a previous blog post, I wanted to paint these beautiful spiders on to a vase....but I had to wait to find the perfect shape. When I saw the porcelain blank for this vase, I knew this was the one! It was the shape of the porcelain blank which formed the design and composition...a continuous flowing form, which suggests the cycle of life...and thus the nature of the orb spider. It had a natural form which also suggested the habitat or environment for this spider, and it would enable me to create little snap shots of their life, hunting, spiderlings hatching, building webs, looking for adventures in a new day, busy work at the evening and so on. I wanted to create an atmospheric design which showcased the productivity and "nature" of these spiders, and so used many layers of lustre paintings and gold paste work for the design. In total there were 9 firings for this painting, in order to build up the translucent layers of painting and control the effects and technique of the lustre application.
This side of the vase shows a large portrait of an orb spider which has caught a darker reflection, it is actually painted entirely in platinum (the large dark webs at the top of the vase are also platinum), with only some black lustre pen work for shading and burnishing gold paint for detail light areas. You can see a better image of the platinum colour about two photos below this one. I used the technique of platinum for the web and burnishing gold 'blending' out in areas, as I described in my other spider painting. The use of negative space on this side of the vase was really important to add life and light to the overall composition. The leaf motive above the spider is continued on the other side of the vase.
The top section of this side shows spiders busy at night, building webs, I've used many layers of lustres to create an evening time atmosphere, and the contrast of gold paste spiderlings works well here. All of the webs are in platinum and burnishing gold.
The mid section of this side
Other side of the vase
Paste orb spider with enamel detail, painted with burnishing gold. The leaf imprints are lustre with gold and platinum highlights.
I really enjoyed creating the spiderlings. I came across this image of glitter on pinterest a month or so ago....
....and this looked to me like spider eggs, and when I found images of orb spiderlings, they are little golden spiders, which was a perfect way to create the natural evolution of spider eggs hatching into spiderlings painted in gold which then become little spiders in paste; and again the shape of the vase creates a natural flow for the design to merge from.
What is next? Well, I paint this style of art works purely out of interest, they aren't part of my main exhibition work, and are a good break away from commissions and exhibition paintings. Maybe I'll paint redback spiders again, but I'm interested in painting bats or snakes next....I'll just wait for the right porcelain piece to come along 😉