A year ago, I began the preliminary sketch of my second oil painting “Bloodline,” while sitting the BAU Gallery during my show “Without Fear and Full of Love,” an autobiographical story of domestic violence and my journey into healing told through a series of self-portraits and poetry.

Connected to an intimate poem about grieving, I drew in the influences of Dia de los Muertos. The sadness of miscarriage bleeds from womb to heart, turning your life upside down. The bees were my spiritual ally, not only in my painting, but in real life. 

“Bloodline”
Oil and charcoal infused oil on Wood
20×30 

“Honey bees cling to me, abandoning their hive and their queen. I wondered why until I saw your soul behind the wings. A lifetime to fill until you come back to me.”

~Meghan Spiro

Details on my painting process are documented below.

My Process

I took 20 years off from painting. Previously I focused on watercolor and acrylic, and only had dabbled in oils. So when I was ready to try oil painting, I consulted my partner Russ Ritell, who gave me some simple advice: The more detailed the drawing, the more successful the painting. So that’s exactly what I do. In this painting, my second, I decided to freehand the entire drawing, rather than using a grid system which I had previously done with my first painting. I started with the face, then outlines to the hand, then the flowers and body above. After finishing the illustration, I did a underpainting using burnt umber and raw umber. Then I started the painting. 
This is the first coat. 
Face detail on the second coat.
Flower Detail
Bloody Hand Detail
Upper body, flower, and bloody hand detail on the second coat.
Detail of bee, honeycomb, and orchids.

“Bloodline”
Oil and charcoal infused oil on Wood
20×30