This evening I rediscovered a work I started over a year ago. I have not completed it. But I believe I will, and I believe it will come together easily when the time is right.
This work is called “Ready to Order.” I was inspired by a photo of a friend of mine. She is a very strong woman with a big personality. The photo captures perfectly a lot of what I like about her. I find her self confidence to be beautiful. She has a room-filling smile. And the reference photo, showing her seated at a restaurant, a lovely gesture of one hand at her face and a glass of wine nearby, is the perfect composition for what I want to express.
And, in what I’ve created so far, there is a lot I like. I like the composition. I like the colors. I have created an interesting background filled with texture and pattern.
My stumbling block came in the rendering of the woman, who is the focal point of the piece. Drawing didn’t work quite right. Painting her in a simplified value study did not work quite right. I don’t want to cut pieces of fabric to shape and collage in a paint-by-number fashion. While I am inspired by a particular woman, I am hoping to depict her in a more universal way. It’s intended to be a portrait of female strength and confidence more than a portrait of one particular woman.
Since beginning this work, I have discovered a few techniques for getting subtle images on sheer fabrics. I believe some layering of these fabrics will eventually be the way I put her together.
For tonight, I have put her back on the shelf. I enjoyed the visit. Looking again, remembering what I liked, and then putting it away for awhile will turn out to be part of the process for this one.