I am continuing to enjoy the process of going into older paintings, sometimes very much older and viewing them with fresh eyes.
In the past couple of weeks I went back into a painting that I must have done over 10 years ago. A friend that had modeled for another painting gave me a really great photo of herself that spoke to me of mystery. Mystery and magic are some favorite components of mine to include in my work besides a nice quality of light if I am working from life. This particular photo which I can’t locate at the moment, had both a magical quality and mysterious light. I’m not sure how that came to be since I did not take the picture but it called to me.
At the time I was not in the habit of painting from photographs. I preferred to paint from life. I still do but it is not always possible to easily find a subject that calls to me, much less one that is available in the right time of day for good lighting.
The top photo below is the first version of the painting. It’s 14″ x 18″ oil on canvas. I wondered if the purple drape might have been confusing to the viewer. The photo below that is of the model and a different painting I did of her from life.
I also didn’t know what the image meant to anyone viewing it. This is often the case. When people share what they think a painting is about it is sometimes totally different that what I had in mind when I painted it. I’d be curious to know what YOU see in this painting?
Anyway, as it usually goes I was walking around my studio and my eyes fell upon this particular piece. As I looked at it, I knew I wanted to play with making the drape smaller or removing it completely so I dug in so to speak. with oil paint you can paint right over what has dried. As I let my hand move over the canvas, the curtain did want to disappear and I allowed the new version to emerge. I’m happy with it.
One needs to move away from a piece to be able to see in clearly. Sometimes I need to turn it upside down. A painting has it’s own ideal viewing distance.
The painting feels right to me because of some internal changes that I feel are being reflected in the image.
Thanks for stopping by and see you soon. Stay well, Melissa