Jarring--that's what I realized this painting was, jarring. It also had no follow-through with a theme or content. I had started the painting because I love the stone ruin idea. This ancient Roman ruin face just had to have a place in the modern world, and I was determined to make it so. I took heed of comments on the first painting I did when people thought it was scary, so I created the happy face to go with it. The rest of the painting really had no purpose, and was just covering space.
My stubbornness often doesn't let me quit. Adding black to a painting like this is how I've finished many of my collage pieces, but I really didn't like that solution. I decided that toning the painting down with veils of acrylic paint might add some mystery to the piece and get rid of the jarring quality. So I mixed up matte medium, white, blue and black acrylic paint. Putting this over transparent watercolor was new to me, so I didn't know how the under-painting might react. I created a new stamp copying the pattern from the statue (ovals and lines) and created more interest and continuity.
My thoughts then went to the question of how to give this piece some content beyond the masks and I came up with the solution of using banners with play titles on them. I did this with more white acrylic, and scratched calligraphy. Can you read the play names in this photo? ( Clouds by Aristophanes, Hamlet, Our Town, West Side Story, Twelfth Night, and The Doll's House.) I'm not sure that's it's done yet, more calligraphy to enhance the play names, perhaps.
And in the midst of this creative process, I finished another Matisse inspired piece.