I've been working for a week and 1/2 on my first portrait (no not this one!) for Sheila and Carrie's Art for Animals Project. I thought I was close with my painting of Trixie, who's being fostered by the great folks at the Prince George's County SPCA/Humane Society in Maryland. I sent a jpeg to my friend who volunteers there, and she gently pointed out that Trixie is a dark brindle, and not the pale grey I seemed to have her. Today I darkened her, lost the shape of things, made mud, tried to "fix" the background to help poor Trixie, and generally botched it up. Which brings me to today's post of another stalled painting.
In Progress: Oil on gessoed watercolor paper
This young model was trying her best to stay alert to no avail. I tried my best to get some spark, but no luck. No matter what I did, the heavy-lidded bored expression crept back onto my canvas. I brought the portrait back to my studio to finish, and started to think of her as a contemporary Turandot. Do you know the famous opera poster of Puccini's mysterious, dark-eyed princess? I decided I'd give my subject one of those knit hats with the ear flaps and tassles that teens wear, give her a nose ring, and intensify the red. On a whim, I blocked in the changes, and came to a roaring stop. I have no reference for the hat, and I'm thinking she looks more Ed Norton from the Honeymooners than Princess Turandot. She's now holding court in a corner of my studio with the rest of my Where do I Go From Here stack, which sits next to the What on Earth was I Thinking pile. Tomorrow I'll tackle Trixie the foster pup again. (Wasn't Norton's wife named Trixie?)
Thanks so much to all of you who have been leaving such kind comments. You galvanize me to keep painting.