Marbles in a Nest

“Inception,” Acrylic on Canvas, 10 x 10 in.

Here is my latest finished painting. The idea for depicting marbles in a nest came to me when setting up a still-life for an earlier drawing. I wanted to combine something from nature with man-made objects and I had been working with marbles, buttons, and game pieces for awhile. So, it came together pretty effortlessly.

The full force of the symbolism came to me a little later as I thought about the intersection of ideas this image represents. For me, marbles signify simultaneously childhood innocence and the moment of self-awareness and maturity when a child holds a marble to the light and marvels at the worlds within. Nests also symbolize innocence but also the inception of life. Of course, these ideas lead me to thoughts of spring and Easter (great timing!) – that last partially because the colors of the marbles in this context recalls Easter eggs. There is also a feeling of these treasured marbles being gathered and protected there in the nest.

Working up to this composition took place in steps, starting with the original drawing:

“Potential,” Graphite on Bristol Vellum, 6 x 6 in.

The drawing sparked a request for a commissioned painting:

Acrylic on on Canvas, 9 x 9 in.
Detail, Acrylic on Canvas, 9 x 9 in.

I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to stay with the idea. I changed up the colors a little bit and made the vantage point steeper so the viewer is looking directly into the nest.

“Inception,” Acrylic on Canvas, 10 x 10 in.

And here is a new drawing of a reed warbler’s nest, which may evolve into a painting of some sort:

Reed Warbler’s Nest, Graphite Drawing, 9 x 13 in.
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