"After the Curtain Call"
I held onto this portrait for many months. It began with of one of the models who posed in her long red dress and theatrical feather boa. All that there was at the time was the woman seated on a metal stool from the studio. And she wore the black boa. At the time, I added the purple boa draped across her lap, looking, I thought, as if it were hanging from a hook on the wall in her "dressing room", one more prop. For me this provided a means of developing directional movement across the picture's surface, adding to its design. This model is actually a singer who performs with her guitar in various local venues where people eat of drink. I think that is what led me in th direction I pursued, adding a mirror image that didn't exist, facing her above the dressing room vanity that grew out of my imagination, where she would see herself, a "wanna be" starlet. I had put the painting aside, incomplete, planning to eventually add a mirror of some kind, creating a more complete and telling environment for her. Wanting the scenario to also have the feeling of a seedy, rundown , backstage dressing room, rather than something glamorous, I elected to use greens around her red dress, appearing somewhat garrish, enhanced by the use of the complementary colors. Instead of a soft setting, I wanted to create an unsettling atmosphere. I had put in the orange and gold colors to the right of the canvas earlier, when I had included a single hanging light fixture, again to create my imagined setting. When the painting began feeling too congested, taking away the concentration on the main character, I scrapped that idea, but kept those golden tones in the negative space, using them to light up the figure's dress down the back, and over her broad hips. I liked the look, and it stayed. There are places in the painting where I layered color over color, in a manner where the undertones would be visible through the upper surfaces. I completed this over a couple of weeks, tonight bringing it to conclusion. I feel like I accomplished what I had been striving for in this image, very satisfying to me.