Sunday, March 21, 2021

Finding the Right Image for a Particular Piece of Paper

 I've been working on gold gessoed paper lately. A full sheet of watercolor paper is 22" by 30" which is sometimes too large for a painting I have in my mind. After painting the two egret paintings recently I had a long skinny piece left. I wondered what I might put on this left over piece of paper. As I walked down the hallway last week there it was--the perfect image. My granddaughter was reading a book while reposed on her bed.  "Hey, can I take a picture of you?" I asked? (She's become pretty used to me using her as a model.)

The inspiration

It didn't take long to come up with ideas for this piece. I wanted to insert a unique story about Angelica using symbols from her life. Years ago when she had to endure long drives into town as a toddler, I would use scenery to entertain her. When spring came, it was the pink trees that drew our attention as we looked out the car window and chanted "pink trees, pink trees." Then I thought to add her totem, an owl, to the tree. 

The Beginning

At first I was just mapping out the image and inserting the ideas I had for the window. I shared this image with my friend, Ruth Armitage, who convinced me that no matter how cute the photo of the upside-down owl was to Angelica and me, it wasn't the best idea for the painting. She suggested I look at Winslow Homer's painting "The New Novel" which had a similar image of a woman lying down reading a book. That gave me the idea of adding that painting to my painting. You will see it in the finished painting; a simplified copy of Homer's painting above the human's head.

Mostly done, but needing details

I simplified the tree covered with covered pink blossoms, and camouflaged the owl in the far right of the window. In this image, you can see the painting on the wall.

12" x 22.5"
Gouache on Gessoed Paper

Here is the finished piece with details added to the figure, clothing and bedding. I am still looking for a title. Send me your ideas please.

No comments: