Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bedtime Story

I am trying to accept the fact that this may be a very small step for the art world. And yet, this little painting is a giant leap for me.

I love doing figures. I am fascinated by faces, people, stories.... but I have never, ever, dared to create a painting that has more than one figure in it. 'coz, like, what if I get one face or one figure right, and then totally screw up the other?
What then, eh?

With that, I knew I had to get over this silly hurdle. Yes, lone figures can have a compelling story, but a multi-figure painting automatically tells a story about the relationship between them.

And so, 3 days ago, I was relaxing a bit, watching one of my favorite British crime dramas ("Waking The Dead"), when I saw a scene that captured my attention. Something about the half-lit faces, the obscured features, the posture just wouldn't let go. I paused the show, did a quick drawing, and proceeded to render it with my long-forgotten cobwebbed watercolors.

At some point, it was quite beautiful, very fresh and one-breath painting. But, it wasn't done. Despite the beautiful clean washes I managed to achieve, it seemed flat, wimpy and lacking in personality.

Then, we had a surprise guest visit; someone with whom I used to work in Israel, and haven't seen for over 10 years. As he and The JohnnyB were talking work-related stuff, I got bored out of my mind, and at some point took the brush and kept working on the painting while still taking part in the conversation...

...not necessarily a very smart thing to do, as I overworked it. But, I managed to save it by darkening some areas, while keeping some of the pure hues (a major achievement for me, as I tend to always gray down any hint of color...).

Regardless of the end result (which I actually like), this may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship between me and paintings that are not limited to one single figure!

I was quite amused by the responses I got in our critique group - everyone came up with a story, asking questions about what's going on in the painting. Then, one of them said, "Never provide all the answers. Let the viewer try to figure it out". Since she's one of the smartest women I've ever met, I shall follow her advice...

* This painting was sold to Blogauthor.


Mike said...

Ahh! Sweet Nocturnal Strangulation. The subtle silence of it is so sublime!


Valerie said...

Sometimes I wonder what's going on in that head of yours....whatever it is it sure makes for some outstanding pictures!! Now I'm going to spend half the night wondering whether she's a helpmeet or a succubus!

Nava said...

It is so very cool to see what this painting does to people, the thoughts it invokes, the way it causes them to reveal so much about themselves as they reflect what goes through their minds.

Strangulation, Eh? Succubus, Ha??

Val, as always, you made me spend some time with the dictionary...)