Painter of the mystical, otherworldly, sensual, and whimsical.

I'm a painter living and working in the beautiful finger-lakes region of Western New York State. I am also an avid gardener and nature lover, so the lush green rolling hills, gentle streams, and majestic lakes that surround my home in this world often appear in the fantasy worlds of my paintings.

Many of the pieces draw inspiration from folk tales, myths and legends. These "teaching tales" were what drew us together around our hearth-fires for centuries, and I believe those stories still carry power.

I enjoy looking at these ancient tales, through my eyes, and painting what I see, no matter if it's beautiful or disturbing. But what's more fun is when others can see those same paintings and find something within of value that speaks to their soul directly. I do not plan for this, but am honored when it happens, and, oh, yes, do love hearing about it every time that it happens. It reminds me that maybe we are not so different after all.

Glad to meet you, and please enjoy the paintings!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Q&A: What is your Primary Medium

Right & Below: "The Morrigan"
preparatory rough pencil sketch &
first layer of color and as a finished piece
(by Portia St. Luke, 2010)

I was recently asked:
What is your primary artistic medium, and why? (You can talk about other things you work in if you want too!) I'm just asking because there seems to be a lot of photographers in [Art Group on Social Media Site] in comparison to people who work in other mediums.

I answered:
 "The best service to mankind is to become immersed in one’s True self." - Saint Bapu Ji, India

My personal process begins, always, with a rough pencil sketch. From there, if it's to be a black & white ink drawing, I proceed to that without any further media involved. If I'm trying for a full-color illo, then light, loose washes of watercolor become the first layer of color. Each progressive layer is slightly thicker, more opaque, more refined, until the last is the finest detail, touching in the hot pops of bright highlights and blackening the few truly dark spaces.  "The Morrigan," was one of the few cases where I reversed this process, working from tightest detail to the loosest.  No process is completely set in stone:  I experiment with wax colored pencils, watercolor pencils, charcoal, chalk, and even digital if the mood strikes me.

I believe that, if we are to live our own truths, as artists, we need to honor what comes best to us, regardless of whether that same medium works best for another. I am not really a photographer beyond dabbling occasionally. I think of myself as an illustrator, because that speaks to my personal truth. Sometimes I will say I'm a painter, but since there is as much drawing as painting in my process, and my style is often called "illustrative," I tend to say, "illustrator." This in no way means I do not appreciate those who have a real skill for photography. I can find artistry in ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, and even basket weaving. *(Have you seen the intricate baskets that have come out of the Japanese masters? Oh, my...)*

One more quote from Saint Bapu Ji: "The moment you realize yourself as the dreamer and the world as your own dream, you will attain salvation."

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