I do a quick sketch on a wash-off board to get an idea of how I want to start. The first image doesn’t always translate well to a large triptych, but it’s fairly easy to adjust sizes as I go. Once the general composition is in place, the rest is just fun. Choosing which animals, choosing a naive style, developing a childlike palette, changing mistakes, etc. Using acrylic enables me to simply paint over areas time after time for a layered look which adds energy to the image.
There are times when the head is muddled, unable to block out outside responsibilities and stresses. Naive style drawing and painting give me the freedom to put serious work aside for a while and go to another world of promise, happiness and peace.
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden have been a favorite theme of mine, loving the imagery of a lush garden in deserts of Mesopotamia with many animals, streams, two innocent people finding their way. The myth has so many possibilities of interpretation, from sweet innocence to the horrific judgement of their god when he is not obeyed.
I usually choose to interpret the beauty and peacefulness of the Christian version of the story (their are many such tales of the first man and woman in other, earlier
religions, suggesting many cultures searching for their beginnings.)
My versions give most importance to the animals, standing by as Eve hands the apple to Adam.
Until that first bite, all is well.