During the visit of the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen of Virginia, I came upon a piece of artwork that I was fascinated with. This artwork was “Immortal – Water” which had been painted by Richard Stodart who was recently residing in Virginia. The main media used by Stodart in painting the artwork was acrylic paints. This piece of art was only one out of four paintings that formed the collection called “The Four Immortals – Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. ” Set in the center of the work was a green turtle with the shell of the reptile facing the audience. The horizon between land and water divided the artwork into equal halves.Order now
On the shell of the turtle was a geometric pattern with several circles overlapping each other. Below the turtle was a white lotus flower blooming in the midst of a pond painted with the same shade of green as that of the reptile. Surrounding the lotus flower were numerous large lotus leaves floating on the surface of the water. Stodart painted the background of the artwork with an ashy and creamy color which contrasted with the dominating color of green. The overall composition of the artwork was symmetrical and balanced with the main subject as well as the lotus flower placed in the center of the painting.
The focus point of the whole painting began with the turtle as the eyes gradually moved downward until reaching the white lotus flower which had been identified as the source of light for the piece. Circular shapes were a major component of the artwork beginning with the shell of the turtle and the geometric circles on the shell. The lotus flower leaves were also painted with oval shapes. In order to be complementary with the idea of the circles, Richard Stodart painted the ashy background of the artwork with circular brush strokes that were apparent to the eyes.
The painting on the whole conveyed a sense of unity with the green color palette I addition with the widely used circular shapes. Richard Stodart explored the idea of immortality in his painting of “Immortal – Water. ” He was able to portray the concept of immortality utilizing the symbolic image of the turtle which was a kind of animal that had commonly been associated with living an immortal life. The motif of the lotus flower on the other hand was a representation of enlightenment and harmony. In the religion of Buddhism, a lotus flower could signify the attainment of wisdom as one reached the state of absolute enlightenment.
This combined with the idea of immortality, Stodart suggested the view that wisdom and enlightenment led to the formation of one’s immortal soul as his spirit became eternal with him being enlightened. The motif of water also amplified the concept as water was often perceived in mythical stories to be the source that gave rise to immortality as with the legend associated with the Fountain of Youth. Although I am mainly working with the fundamental media or paper, I find the artwork of “Immortal – Water” to be incredibly engrossing.
The aspect of the whole painting that appeals to me the most is the symbolic meaning behind the use of the turtle, the lotus flower, and as well as the element of water. I have been aiming to apply various symbolic subjects in my own artworks which is a common characteristic that I share with Richard Stodart. Although I believe the artwork is a successful piece of art, I find the green color palette to be overly repetitive, and the whole work may be enhanced by varying the shades of green or perhaps mixing the green with other analogous colors.