I met Nadine Johnson when she was the yoga instructor on the yoga and aerial arts retreat that I attended in Costa Rica in May run by Go Well Beyond and Aerial Artique. She was an excellent teacher, especially since she is an aerialist herself and understood what we needed from the yoga practice to recover from the aerial sessions. Nadine exudes a sense of calm and poise which I think is reflected in her aerial practice. I wanted to try to capture this in her portrait.
‘Golden Hoop‘: Ink and gold leaf on watercolour paper, portrait of Nadine
I loved spending time with Nadine on the yoga and aerial arts retreat. We got to chat a lot during meal times where all of the attendees stuffed themselves silly with delicious healthy food.
It was lovely to learn from Nadine. She is an excellent yoga teacher, showing each student different modifications to suit their individual needs. Her vast knowledge really showed through the way she explained challenging poses. Seeing her performing the poses was also a treat as she has an extremely graceful way of moving.
Nadine’s classes were also the first time I had ever tried restorative yoga. Along with all of the other amazing experiences at the retreat, the restorative yoga made me feel so rejuvenated. Nadine also introduced me to the use of essential oils with yoga. I loved the combination to play to so many senses at the same time and have since gone out and brought myself some oils to continue to use them.
Side by side comparison of reference image and ‘Golden Hoop’
Q&A with Nadine:
What made you decide to try aerial?
What were the best qualities about some of your teachers when you were getting started?
What is your favourite aspect of aerial?
How would you compare aerial to yoga?
Has the things that you like about aerial changed from the time you started to now?
What are the qualities that you aspire to in your aerial practice?
I love the beautiful shape that Nadine is creating with the lyra in the shot she sent me. Her lines are lovely and the hoop frames her beautifully. The photo was taken at Aerial Artique during a training session. I wanted to focus more on the shape of Nadine’s body and the hoop rather than the lighting or the background, which is why I tried to create a simple portrait.
Reference image of Nadine at Aerial Artique
Progress photos of ‘Golden Hoop’
For the portrait of Nadine I wanted to keep the colour scheme simple so that the shapes and form could be the star of the artwork. I used drawing ink on watercolour paper to paint the figure. Two layers of ink were used, one slightly diluted to create a grey tone.
Once I had painted the figure I wanted to give the portrait something a little bit special. I still wanted to keep the background clean because I thought that a busy background would overpower the figure. So I decided to add some gold leaf to the hoop to make it pop. I think that the little bit of bling is just the ticket to finish off the piece.
‘Golden Hoop’ on my bookshelf with my pretty books and a potted plant
Prints of ‘Golden Hoop’ available in my online store
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