Friday, August 28, 2015

Girl Power

The photo — a photography studio shot — of Sophia hefting her brother, Matvei, arrived in an email a few years back.  Karen’s cousin, Connie, was sharing photos of her grandchildren who live in Switzerland.  I wanted to paint that pair, but Sophia’s grimace as she lifted her brother didn’t meet my preconceived notion.  So it languished in the family files on our computer. 

Still, I wanted to paint those two.  Of all the images I had, this one showed the most personality so I began the painting.  I labored for what seemed like forever over Matvei;s shirt. — I think about an hour per square inch.  If only he had been wearing a simple colored shirt.

Finally it was done except Sophia’s energy merited more than a plain white background.  A new batch of family photos arrived — one depicting a beautiful teenage Sophia in a natural area.  Eureka!  I had a concept for the setting although I modified it — considerably — having great fun with a palette knife to depict the rocks.  Note to self: I  must paint more rocks with a palette knife.

Done — but, to be honest, I decided I would relegate the painting to a corner of my studio — that it wouldn’t see the light of day.  Enter Karen.  Over my protests she forwarded it to her cousin and word came that she and her husband, Bob, loved it — that it captured the energy and vitality of Sophia as well as Matvei.

OK, I relented.  I worked on the painting I’ve titled “Girl Power” during a few more sessions to resolve some issues and off it went with Karen as she headed east to visit her cousin.

They say they like it.  I sure hope so, because if it hadn’t been for Karen, they never would have seen it.

                                                    Girl Power    12 x 12 inches    Alkyd on Canvas