Thursday, 18 March 2010

Miracles Can Happen

"Amazing Grace"
Original Watercolour by Jean Haines

 If you study the portrait above you may think this was a deliberate decision by an artist to paint a face. But the story behind the painting is a special moment in my demonstrating life.

I had a group of  students on one particular workshop and I had chosen to demonstrate a wash. I covered a large piece of paper with a mixture of shades which were mainly yellow and orange dropping blue  into  several places which merged with the existing wash. At this stage it was already looking really fascinating.

I could see a face. 
Even though I had no intention of completing the wash my brush felt compelled to continue.

The class became very quiet behind me as this incredible painting took place. I took the  profile outline to where flesh tones were evident and then the class could more easily also see a face appearing. The features were already defined in the original wash so at this stage I simply allowed the painting to paint itself. The flesh colour running from the face to the lower section of the paper gave the impression of hands in prayer.

Watermarks gave a clear impression this was not a young face so I allowed them to remain and slightly strengthened them.

The class fell silent yet again as finally a vision appeared from nothing more than a blank piece of white paper. To the left of this face on the far right section I decided to allow the initial yellow wash to stay untouched merging with the blue.This was to remind myself and the class how this portrait  began. But within this section was a light unique watermark in the upper corner .This shone down on the freshly painted portrait. The class felt it looked like an angel and I agree.

When we demonstrate we often surprise ourselves with our results. But for me on this day I feel as though my hand was guided. As odd as it may sound I feel  my brush was moved from another source and I merely held it.
I also do believe that miracles can happen and we are not always aware when they occur.


I have never sold this painting. I know in my heart it will at some point go somewhere that it will be wanted and enjoyed. But it will not be seen until I am ready to let it go. And it will be given as a gift at the right time to the right new home because we cannot sell or put a price on miracles. 

And I find giving is the greatest gift of all in life especially when it can help others.



Anonymous said...

It's a great story, Jean! Glad you put it up. Seems like one of those moments when you're actually glad you're an artist, doesn't it?
All the best!

Kathy said...

I opened up Mother Theresa and at the same time Amazing Grace was playing on my TV. Now that is amazing. So is your painting!

Mike said...

Another great reminder encouraging us to continually experiment with washes and to look for pigment interactions...we never know what may form.
Another helpful lesson, many thanks for sharing, Jean.
Best regards, Mike from Dubbo, Australia.