Many of my paintings or attempts at art, never reach final draft status as the stacks of unfinished watercolors on my bookshelves can attest to. Awhile ago I painted The Eye of Horus on canvas with acrylics. It was a rough draft as so many paintings are. I put it on our mantle and it sat there literally staring at me for years. I like working with acrylic paint because if I mess up I have chance to wait and try again. Watercolors are much less forgiving. I love the challenge of working in watercolor and ink.
Sometimes it is nice to use the more forgiving mediums, like acrylic. They offer the chance to play, mess up and try again. Attempts with watercolor and ink are often a slow process filled with second-guesses and anxiety. One wrong brush stoke and they will be added to the stack of rejects. With acrylics I am fearless. I can try things that may not work, admit my wrongs and do it over. This can mean starting over from the very beginning, keeping only a faint outline. It is a nice change. A couple weeks ago I got back to the eye. My family asked what I was doing. They asked “why?” it wasn’t done and I the only thing I could think of was “because it can be better.” They had just assumed it was on the mantel because it was done, when it was really on display to remind me I needed to get back to it at some point.
I like the process that comes with these attempts at beauty. The reward of doing something for its own sake. The Eye of Horus has special meaning and so I thought it only right to try and do it justice. Also known as the “Eye of Ra” or the “all seeing eye.” Each aspect of the symbol are representative of the 6 senses: smell, sight, thought, hearing, taste and touch. (It should be noted that I took some artistic license with the classical proportions of the elements in the repaint.)
This is the way it was left for a very long time. When I took it up again I realized I would have to rework the form entirely for me to like it. This process of acknowledging my shortcomings is daunting and empowering in equal measure. Like any basic transformation it is hard not to hold to the progress that has been made, even in the realization I am headed down a path I don’t want to follow to the end. I took a deep breath got out the white and began the reconstruction.