So there about 12 hours before the top 50 artists names are revealed for Lilla Roger's Global Talent Search - the eventual winner will have 2 years representation at her agency. I have a slim chance, one of the 999 who submitted a piece for this first round.
If I'm honest I was nervous about this brief and didn't look at it for several days because I was panicked by it. The little terrarium part of the brief was fine, the wall art aspect was trickier for me. However Lilla had kindly provided within her PDF some top tips for creating wall art that sells & images for inspiration.
Plan A went like this -I was initially drawn to the more modern hanging versions but realised at the sketch stage mine looked like Christmas baubles with bits of greenery sticking out
Plan B - my son found inside his fortune cookie the phrase...'every flower blooms in its own sweet time' I thought that was a sign but soon realised it just wasn't going to work either.
Plan C - paint a scene from The Eden Project in Cornwall where I visited the week before on my summer hols. The only problem here is my skill level on canvas did not match my imagination.
Time was ticking by pretty rapidly. Looking back over my notes I'd jotted down the invention of the terrarium was for the transportation of exotic plant specimens (such as ferns and orchids) from far flung places like Asia and South America during in the 19th Century back to England. The botanists who collected these plants can only be described as intrepid explorers going into unchartered territories for the sake of a beautiful plant.
So we had Plan D in the making. I want to point out that I'm just drawn to tropical plants and monsoonal countries - it must be in my genes being from Burma. My grandma kept 4 or 5 dozen orchids in her garden when I lived with her in Yangon so I have a particular fondness for them too. Using some of the pics I'd taken at Eden I started with my standard pen & ink sketches.
Working with the origins of the terrarium I wanted to convey the exploration aspect of finding all these tropical plants that would be placed inside. I've trekked through rainforests in Thailand and Malaysia and even these days there is still an element of adventure in these lush humid climes (don't get me started on leeches though)
There were many moments of second guessing but I'm becoming better with these bouts of self doubt. I feel for the first time ever I have a piece of art I am incredibly pleased with. So what ever happens tomorrow I've already created a win/win situation for myself which is certainly a positive outcome.