When I returned from my class in Tuscon last October I made a necklace which was inspired by my trip. It featured three little civets – or ringtail cats – and a flock of cactus wrens. I had always been enchanted with cactus wrens when I used to visit my parents in the Phoenix area. How could those birds actually stand on the tips of cactus thorns? And not only were they highly skilled, they also have such perky cheerful body shapes. Anyway, in Tuscon I became aware that civets are among the native Arizonan and I quickly came to greatly admire their beauty. So combining the two in a “southwest scene” necklace seemed natural.
This necklace is one of three that I am in the process of making displays for. After all, this type of jewelry is really more art than jewelry and I thought it would be appropriate to make special displays that will hang on the wall for these few special creations.
This display will be a triptych. The painting of the ringtail will be on the left, the painting of the cactus wrens will be on the right, and the necklace will hang on a same-sized panel in the center and will be backed with dupioni silk.
So here’s the beginning stage of the painting. I am wirking with the two paintings sharing the same piece of illustration board and will continue this way until the last stages. Hopefully this will ensure that they are actually a pair in terms of both style and color. So far I’ve toned the board, established the animals, and masked out all the little branches.
Now I’m starting to work on the big branches. When I’m finished with them – and the cactus in the foreground – I’ll mask them out and do the background. Then I’ll remove the mask and finish the animals. Hopefully all will go well, but we’ll have to see. I always seem to hit some major snag or other!