Inktober 2017 days 11 to 15

The journey continues… exploring the ink blots, and some more deliberate work. A little Star Trek reference thrown in too.

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Day 11: Kneeling woman

Day 12: Blown over the islands

Day 13: I is for Ink (and illustrate, illuminate, inspire, impress, invent, invest, interest, improve, innovate…)

Day 14: Face-off in space

Day 15: Hope in the darkness

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Inktober 2017 days 6 to 10

I have really enjoyed the excuse to get into my studio every evening. Here are the results from days 6 to 10…

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Day 6: Sometimes work feels like a war-zone

Day 7: Shiny Saturday symmetry

Day 8: The full scented rose

Day 9: Taking off

Day 10: Inkseckts

 

 

Mandala No.13: Fear

Fear small
Mandala No.13: Fear by Judy Backhouse (copyright)

Fear makes you small. So this mandala has shrunk down to occupy a small space at the centre of the canvas. Most of the canvas is background, the scary “other” that dominates.

Fear is an ugly picture, it feels uncomfortable, disturbing, something to look away from.

fear detail1

In the centre of this mandala are huddled four creatures, back-to-back. Each faces one of the traditional mandala doors, and the doors are just an arrow-slit opening. When you are afraid you have to be constantly on guard. You can never relax. Between the four of them, is a red space, representing their collective sense of danger.

Beyond is a wide open space, kept barren to ensure that any approach can be seen. It’s a sickly yellowish green, the colour of fear.

Outside that there is a solid wall topped by what South Africans will recognise as the ubiquitous electric fence, the ultimate symbol of fear. Electric fencing is sold as “security” and yet it makes no-one feel secure. Instead it leaves people trapped in a spider’s web of their own fear.

fear detail 8

The threat is a high-energy mixture of oranges, reds, browns, purples and blues, all pointing in towards the fear-filled centre. It’s alarming, aggressive. But up close the colours are rich and vibrant. This threatening background provides the only beauty in an otherwise ugly painting.

Incidentally, I am not superstitious. That this painting is number 13 was just a coincidence.

Mandala No.13: Fear is painted in acrylic paint on a gallery-wrapped 50cm x 50cm canvas and is finished with a gloss acrylic varnish. The edges of the canvas are painted in a plain dark brown.