First painting in the texture series

As the first texture painting in my series examining different texture techniques, I wanted to paint something very visceral and capture the sheen and glossiness of healthy, living organs. This was a challenge for me since I am not used to painting with such a smooth texture technique. I usually work with messier, tangible, and rougher textures with my paint. I chose to paint organs because it is a subject I have had interest in painting for many years now. I incorporate a lot of human anatomy and themes relating to the human body in my artwork, I wanted to really push myself to finally attempt this project as a part of this series. It was important to me to depict living organs that are still covered in that healthy viscosity and vibrancy that reflects health, life, and perseverance. I chose to paint the small intestines and include an emphasis on the mesentery; the fatty tissue that protects the intestines. This was intellectually and emotionally a tasking project to take on. Painting organs is unlike anything else I have painted before, and I had to push my mind as well as my artists’ hand beyond my comfort zone to enhance the shadows and highlights as much as necessary in order to depict the glossy cover of mucus and fluid that coats organs. Additionally, I fluctuated between using a wet-on-wet brush technique and a dry-on-dry technique to properly blend the colors and achieve the smooth surface of the intestine. I usually stick to a more dry-on-dry technique in the past, so this was a new experience for me. I went back over the vibrancy of the colors composing the intestine many times, there were so many underlayers and shades of purples, reds, pinks, blues, and even some greens that I wanted to do my best to incorporate throughout the whole painting to really demonstrate the life that the organs are meant to represent. This painting was emotionally testing to paint because as an teenager I struggled a lot with my physical health and underwent several procedures that affected my digestive health. The mesentery tissue is symbolic to me and of my struggle to fight for my health, as well as find and maintain a balance that supported my body’s abilities. It was a therapeutic, yet an emotionally heavy process to sit with this project and work on painting these organs that took away such a large chunk of my quality of life at a young age. I feel very happy with the results of this painting, especially as I reflect on it as a topic and texture I have been eager to tackle in my artwork since I was 15.

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