Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Oh shit... it's the Money Honey!



Or at least some imperfect version of her.

Big Maria ... Our Mother of Money? ... $ Madonna?

The mind reels.

This image was shot moments after the ceremonial Obliteration-Of-The-Grid. Or at least portions of it. The idea is to let me stare at the general lines of the face without them competing with the grid lines I previously used to transfer the photographic image to the canvas. The logistical thinking at this point is that corrections can now be made to make the damned thing look more like the actual subject. You can see that some of the grid lines remain in the space above her head and under the arch.

That said, I'm pleased with the situation to date. I love that perky chin and that lush upper lip. The mouth isn't quite right, but there are a lot of good things to be said about what's wrong with it.

(Inappropriate sharing: I honestly get goose-bumps just looking at her flume. I can't seem to get past the idea of dabbing bits of Duke's mayonaisse on it and then... Wow, is that too much? Shit...I'm falling in love with my subject! This can't bode well.)

Anyway, as I noted in a previous post, the rendition of Ms. Bartiromo's upper lip is going to be one of the make/break challenges of this painting.

And her nose is going to cause more problems than you can imagine. I'm just warning you. Likewise her right (your left) eye.

Some additional notes: Other than the bangs on her forehead, you may completely disregard the shape of her hair--it will be covered in a veil of some sort. And topped, of course, with a halo. Also, you can barely see the line of the above-mentioned arch "through" which we can see the Blessed Virgin. But it is there. Around the outside of the line of the arch the words "Todd...it's your boss on the phone" will be repeatedly written in gold letters.

As a public service I may just draw in the pupils and repost the image, otherwise untouched. This one act will serve as the most compelling tutorial on portrait painting I can offer. In the book on portrait painting that I someday will write, I will call it "The Synchronicity of Detail."

Except that "synchronicity" is the wrong word. I'm looking for the one that suggests that business about the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. I know it starts with an "s." It was common corporate jargon in th 90s, when buying companies was all the rage and you needed a word to suggest to the shareholders that what you've just done was actually a good idea. Symbiosis jumps to mind as well, but that's not it either.

Anyway, that's a great name for the book, assuming I am able to come up with the right word. The take-away, for those of you looking for take-aways (and who isn't, really?), is that sometimes the smallest things, like the dots of charcoal that represent her pupils, often have a disproportionately large effect on the total image.

There's a life lesson somewhere in there too.

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