Turtles of Sunrise-The Creation Of A Work Of Art by Guest Writer Vandy

Terry Molina, the artist also known as “Vandy”, is a Rickie Report reader who has been accepted to many of the Calls to Artists we publish.  When The Rickie Report sends out Calls to Artists, we always ask you to let us know when you’ve been accepted.  We ask for a lot of reasons.  We really want to share in your success!  That is why we asked Terry Molina, the artist known as “Vandy”, to write about her experience.

 

We first met Vandy at a Palm Beach International Airport during the artists’ reception. The excitement at these events is palpable as artists, relatives, and friends come to celebrate their acceptance to these shows. Did you know that a large portion of the artwork shown at the airport venue is sold?  Vandy became a subscriber to The Rickie Report and when we sent out the call to artists for the City of Sunrise, she applied. Vandy emailed us when she was accepted and we were excited to share in her accomplishment.  We want to share how this turtle emerged from Vandy’s initial drawings to the finished product.

The Turtles Are Coming!  Turtles waiting to be delivered to the artists

 

 A Turtle’s Journey thru My Studio

 

A truck arrived with a large white turtle standing tall in the bed. It took two men to get it into the house.  We sat it on a movers’ dolly so it could be rotated for easier access. I set up my 600 watt work light, and that evening when I turned it on, the light radiated out through the windows as if aliens had landed in the house.

 

I sat looking at it for a while, the approved design in hand. As I studied the turtles patterns and shapes I could already begin to see the finished piece. There would be a lot of work between the vision and the reality! The edges of the back shell will be painted in the colors of the rainbow with a silhouette on each of a life form the earth supports.

Vandy working on the turtle

When it arrived I was in the middle of a large project in Miami Beach. I told myself it would have to wait until that job was done. That decision didn’t last long!  No artist can be around a great white canvas (regardless of size or composition) and not be drawn to add color. By the end of the first day I was working on the body.  Surrounded by art, the process of creation is made easier! 

The project regulations wanted us to use heavy body acrylic paint. I had always used soft body paint, but was not about to ignore a challenge. Opening a jar, I dipped the brush in. Letting go of the handle, the brush stood upright by itself!   This paint was going to require using the brush like a miniature shovel. So I dug in and transferred a healthy blob onto the turtle’s arm. It takes a lot of brushwork to get a smooth, even finish with this paint. Good thing I have all the patience in the world for my art (not that I can always say the same about people!)

 

Turtle’s Underbelly

I worked out the skin colors to my satisfaction.  It was a process of elimination to get exactly what I wanted, but with heavy body paint, coverage of a mistake is easy!  Here you can see some of the life represented in silhouette.  From the top is a deer, horse, bird, star fish, woman, man and young boy.

 

In between trips to Miami Beach, I have been painting the turtle and watching the creature I envisioned emerge. The chest was done in a molted dark blue so the addition of stars would make it look like the galaxy. The Universe is filled with countless stars- and when I started painting them- dot by dot- I began to get a real feeling for the term countless. It took about ten hours of dots to make it look right. But in the end, with the addition of some color and Paynes gray, I had the feeling of depth and vastness I sought.  Paynes Gray is the name of a shade of gray that is the best to use for mixing with other colors to gray them down without deadening their brightness. If you mix in black with paint, you can achieve the same greying down but the color looses all its glow. This turtle indeed carries our spiral galaxy on its chest.

She is emerging!

I had great fun, and increased my geographic knowledge as I did the back. Making the land masses recognizable was a challenge. When it was done, with the passing from day to night across the land, it gave me a peaceful feeling about this blue-green orb. With her heart glowing on her chest, I start on the back of the shell, leaving the eyes for last. It is a tradition from my days as a puppeteer- the eyes are the last thing to be painted as they give life to the creation.

 

The edges of the back shell are painted in the colors of the rainbow, the spectrum of light. On each, in Lumiere Metallic Bronze, are silhouettes 0f the various life forms supported on our planet. Since I had only 24 spaces, it was impossible to delineate them all. So I chose a random sampling. I even included the humble ragweed- because so many are keenly aware of its existence!

 

Stepping back and viewing the turtle as a whole, I was very happy to see it had met, and even surpassed, my initial vision. She is a marvelous creature and, I believe, a good representation of the Native American legend.

 

Turtle Front

The chest is a spiral galaxy, like the one in which our solar system resides.  She will soon be wrapped in blankets, picked up, and taken to a place where she will be thoroughly clear coated to help her retain her intensity of color as she sits on display on the streets of the City of Sunrise. It is a project I am glad to have had the opportunity to do!

 

 

Turtle Back

 

Bright sun shines on our planet and the daylight darkens to night as we look east. The back of the turtle shows the Earth as it passes from day to night. The Native Americans view the turtle as keeper of the Earth who gives living beings a safe place to ride on as they journey through the stars. The scalloped edges surrounding the back shell are colored in rainbow colors and each features a silhouette of the many kinds of life our planet supports. The turtle itself is a blend of water and earthen colors, as this creature functions in both realms.  Standing on swirling cosmic color, she looks upward as she carries the world on her back. 

The front of the shell features the spiral galaxy in which our small blue-green planet spins. All the elements that form our world come from the stars and we will always share connection with our Universe.

 

The Rickie Report appreciates Vandy sharing her experience with us.  She is a multi-talented artist.  Recently, at a boutique, we saw her fun and colorful wind chimes made of all natural materials she found in her yard. Her paintings have been seen in juried shows at Lighthouse ArtCenter, Local Treasures, Palm Beach International Airport Competition, and more. She is well known for her commissioned wall decor pieces. For more information about her work and to reach Vandy:facebook.com/vandyart   or call:561-478-8928 .

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

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