Constellating Cancer, is the latest in the constellations series that are filling my studio in this hope filled new year. This particular series at first began mainly as a way to use the figure with animal figures;but as with most of my series,they turn into something else all together by the time I get into them. I have always been intrigued by the night sky and I am one to stay up all night to watch meteor showers or see a star come closer to the earth. The heavens are amazing and looking up lets me know just how very small I am.
This series has given me an excuse to really think about the constellations and how throughout history man has relied and used them to guide him. I am now a part of that legacy as they constellations are guiding me through this group of paintings. Cancer is for me a very terrifying word but somehow the constellation cancer is not so threatening. When I am working on a series such as this one I try to find out everything I can about the subject. I have found the myths surrounding the constellations to be very interesting.
Technically, this painting is acrylic on cradled board. It is layered with pigment and gels giving it both tactile and visual texture. I have sanded it down in places and added more layers to give the shapes broken edges that I believe softens the values giving it an atmosphere as well as an interesting surface. Embedded in each of these constellation series I have drawn the diagram of the constellation in the layers, and as with most layers they are covered and uncovered in an effort to mimic a star as it twinkles brightly and dimly in the night sky.
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Constellating Cancer by Cathy Hegman 40 x 30 acrylic on panel