Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Blue Stephanie Turns a Corner

When Blue Stephanie was last seen, one wag described her as the crossroads between Sandra Bernhardt and the phantom of the opera and, maybe, a little bit of that guy who played a recurring role as Charlotte's gay friend on Sex and the City.

Me? I just thought of it as a work in progress.

I also thought of it as a version of my current life in a nutshell. I say this because I was leaning over the canvas just before this picture was taken, dripping a little red on her lips, when I realized that I had bent too far over and the red paint was pouring out of my Victoria Gourmet 1.2 oz tin onto the surface of the canvas.

You can see it all over the side of her face beneath her ear. This is my life in a nutshell.

Anyway, then I thought of John Constable and his great love of putting little dots of color--often red--at strategic points around his landscapes to carry the eye about, help focus on the matter at hand. That helped, but only in the way massive self-delusion can. In the end, it was just a bunch of red paint on the surface of my beautiful painting.

Then, after taking Friday and Saturday off, I decided to get serious. This is the result of one pretty intense Sunday:

I do think she's beautiful. Even in her premature, unformed way. You?

A lot of what happened on Sunday had to do with the mouth and eye(s), and a lot of that was done with the tip of my finger. I used an antique gold for the color of her eyes, which under normal light reads as hazel but in the full frontal assault of my camera flash glows in the same way a vampire's eyes might.

And the hair, of course. I wish I'd taken more pictures during this spasm of effort, but sometimes you just focus on the matter at hand. Also, with paint all over my fingers I am loathe to mark up the shiny aluminum exterior of my camera.

I do very much like how the left side of the face is beginning to peek out of the shadows.

And, while we're naming famous painters, the contrast between the shadow and light on her flume is very much my Edward Hopper moment.

This little triumph aside, however, I am troubled at how, despite my protestations about pinks and blues, Blue Stephanie seems to have turned into yellow/brown Stephanie.

I promise you this is just a phase. You can still see some pink beneath her eye, and we're still a long way from home.


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