The background in this painting was a piece of some kind of exotic printed paper I found in an upscale paper shop in NYC. At that time I was looking hard for interesting backgrounds to balance the nude figure with other elements. It was important that the portraits of be seen as simply portraits. Nudity in visual arts can say so many things and I choose to focus on its ability deepen the viewers appreciation of the subject’s spirit, personality, psychology, or whatever you want to call it. Of course, it’s more complicated than that because what is revealed is my interpretation, not an objective one and there lies the art of it.
Another thought on this piece is that I know it looks peculiar. It reminds me that Picasso once spoke of artists finding their personality, or style, by doing their level best to accurately draw (or paint) what they see rather than force something to happen using another artist’s style. The result of that effort will be their own “style.”
I worked so hard on this to make it look like what I was seeing and it always fell short. This panel has many, many layers of paint. My painting instructor always reminded her students that the model and the painting are two different things and will never be the same. It’s funny how that advice seems so obvious, but in the heat of work it can be completely forgotten. Now, after the distance of some years, I see the painting’s peculiarity is the best part.
This work is on linen mounted on a wood panel, 20” x 28”. Please visit my site for more work