Yesterday was our second reveal for the June Monthly Painters' Challenge and the topic was Ritual. I had been dithering on what the topic should be when Phoebe suggested Ritual. At first I dismissed it, but then I found myself coming back to it and thinking of all the rituals in our daily lives, and it started me thinking of a million different ideas, so I it seemed that it was the topic I should choose.
I had decided to work in mixed media, and wanted to use the opportunity to push my practice and explore an aspect of ritual which would be separate from my usual botanicals or landscape collages. I was standing in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil and choosing which tea to take through to the studio, when it became fairly obvious that a ritual topic was staring me in the face. I like to choose teas to match my mood, much like I choose music when I paint, and like I don't like to change the musician once I start on a piece, I also I don't like to change the tea I drink. I find that the music and tea sort of get me in sync with the piece of work I am concentrating on, and changing between teas and music according to what I am working on helps my mind switch gears when I have more than one piece of work on the go at once. This is very possibly just superstition, but as it works I stick with it.
So topic and subject chosen I started getting down to it. I did try to be a little looser in my application of paint and to build up some textural layers, and while I stuck within a comfortable colour palette, the subject matter was a challenge. I am so comfortable drawing realistically in my areas, but going back to getting the shapes of cups and pots reminded me of the old still life skills, and while they did come back quicker than I had feared, perhaps familiarity with the mug and pot helped with that.
Overall I was happy with the result, and can't wait to get to the next challenge. The whole group approached the topic in such varied ways and if you head over to the facebook page, or click on the links at the side you can check out every one's interpretations of Ritual.