There's an ongoing conflict inside my head between my inner critic and my inner goddess. The inner critic tries to tell me that I'm boring and ordinary, a nervous wreck, and an artistic fraud. The inner goddess wants me to breathe deeply, channel the emotions from my brain into my fingertips, and just paint. And while on the outside I'm kind of an average-looking, all-American woman next door, on the inside I'm an exotic and daring soul, a world-traveler and feisty spirit.
I decided to paint my inner goddess, so I started with a big sheet of 12" x 18" watercolor paper, coated it with white gesso and let it dry. I chose a fairly large size paper because I wanted to have plenty of room for crazy hair and some interesting clothing.
After the gessoed page was dry, I used sepia archival ink with a fingertip dauber through the Mystique stencil by Andrea Matus deMeng to get the eyes, nose and mouth in the right position on the page. Then I sketched a circular face shape and added lines for the neck, shoulders, and hair.
A lot of people are afraid of ears. They are a little tricky to draw, and many people just paint long flowing hair so that they don't have to worry about the ears. My goddess wanted big ears for good luck, like Buddha has, so I used Pam Carricker's Hear Journal Sense stencil, positioned it on the right, and stenciled it with sepia archival ink. I flipped it and added the left ear.
For the hair, I wanted something wild and flowing, but more interesting and textural than plain brush strokes.
I decided to paint in a dark color for the hair shape, then use Gwen Lafluer's new Turkish Bronze Boho Blend through Jessica Sporn's Lacy Lotus repeat stencil. I taped off one perfect lotus shape and repeated it around the page. The embossing powder has flecks of bronze and added a beautiful shimmer to the hair texture.
It needed a background, and a contrast with the hair, so I chose a stencil that resembled tile, Maltese Mix by Michelle Ward.
To add even more contrast and texture, I used white crackle paste through the stencil. I strategically placed tracing paper and painters tape over the areas that would not be stenciled.
With the golden brown skin color and flowing hair, she began to have a feeling of a Gauguin woman, yet the addition of the crackled white tiles gave a feeling of North Africa too.
My goddess was shaping up nicely. Here's a detail shot that shows the many textures.
I debated about what to do for the very bottom of the painting: should I add a dress? A necklace? A neck tattoo? Leave it as it is? Finally, I settled on creating yet more texture.
I wanted to suggest delicate lace, so I combined several stencils and applied them with fine white Wow brand embossing powder.
I used a paisley shape from Laurie Milka's Pilgrimage to India stencil along with Gwen Lafluer's Art Deco Corner Medallion and an older favorite faux smocking design from the April 2013 StencilClub. I added a few white painted dots to fill in the empty spaces and also suggest sheer dotted Swiss fabric. I strategically taped off the space as I stenciled to maintain the crisscross effect in the bodice.
Last, but surely not least, I added a crown. I experimented with quite a few crown ideas and finally settled on a triangular stripe from Laurie Milka's Pilgrimage to India, applied with hampagne-colored embossing powder. It was the perfect finishing touch for my Inner Goddess.