Invitation to Play 4

invitation to play

From your suggestions and ideas I have worked to strengthen and bring out the forms in the painting.

Invitation 4

The process to date:

Ina suggested drawing in black and I have done this in a few places, to emphasize details and introduce some new elements.

I followed Robert’s idea to create more structure using Burnt Sienna and or Raw Umber. I applied both on the circular form and the emerging form on the right. He also suggested I consider evoking a portrait and or figure. I painted with this in mind and I think you can see the results…not realistic but rather a loose, ambiguous hint.

Steven’s central black rod…a simple application with interesting results.

Carl’s ‘ochre gold’ for top right corner, to reflect same on bottom and left side of arc is done, although this colour on the arc has now been covered.

Babajij’s Purple micro dot has been placed but it is difficult to see on screen. It is in the eye of the bird-like figure.

This stage of the process was clearly about establishing and defining form and I believe this has happened, however strange those forms may be. I made many intuitive changes to help in this process: Lightening Ina’s reds and pulling them around the composition – Seeing and bringing out faces in the bird-like figure – Playing with the undefined possibilities on the right by layering, adding linear elements and shaping with Red until this somewhat puzzling figure emerged – Toning and increasing intensity of all colours.

I made a couple of very small changes to the central mystery but its secret remains unrevealed.

I think we are now one or two posts away from completion. Fine tuning is needed next.

I welcome your comments on what we have created together so far and also ask  for your suggestions and ideas for fine tuning any section of this work.

Thank you as always for your participation…the game continues…

For the concept behind this challenge please see ‘Invitation to Play 1’.

The ‘Invitation to Play‘ painting is a found image photographed in a local park in East Vancouver. I don’t know the artist but will credit you if you contact me. I thank you for inspiring the title for this post.

14 thoughts on “Invitation to Play 4

  1. John! This is really so beautiful! I had some doubts this would work and, not being a painter myself, no idea how you could possibly make something out of it and now I see how you did it! Lovely! 🙂 I like the “shapes” of a “bird” and a “woman” (that is what I see, and it makes me think of so many things. Love it! You are a real artist! Thank you so much for letting us see what you do.


    1. Thank you so much Ina for your generous words and for your participation in this project. I think that sometimes the act of art needs to be demystified, shared and seen naked. Making art is a solitary process and can often be a lonely one. Working communally like this this is a rich and rewarding experience for me. I appreciate you always being there, first onto the dance floor…and the dance goes on…


  2. Beautiful work John. Very mythical stuff here you are doing. In Jungian fairytale territory. Mermaid, serpent, tree of life is what jumps out at me. I’m not sure if you’re still looking for suggestions but this is a ‘faint’ thought: thin hints of ‘scales’ (the letter U) on the mermaid’s body?
    Honestly even saying this now I feel so very intrusive because you’ve taken these collective ideas and made a very personal expression.


    1. Not intrusive at all Steven, you are a part of this process and your comments and ideas are always appreciated. As I said in this post I still welcome suggestions for the final ‘fine tuning’ stage and it so happens that your idea for scales also occurred to me but I wasn’t sure. However, now you have put it forward I will try it and we will see if it works. “Jungian fairytale territory” I like very much and am fascinated by what you and others see in the painting. Thank you for your kind and supportive words Steven…


  3. What amazes me most about this John is the fact that others have set the perameters for this work but it is still clearly YOU…….your spirit still shines through! At this stage I think you need to finish it yourself…….like a Captain bringing his ship into final dock. Just fine touches needed.


    1. Thanks Robert, guess my muse is still my muse even when assisted by such a fine team of friends. Your words are taken to heart and tonight I bring the ship home, a fair wind in its sails…


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