The Wisdom of Her Years (Oil on Canvas)
MODELS WEARING HATS. THE GENERAL HOKIENESS OF COSTUME DRAMA, ETC.
Working in an art club group, sharing the studio, one has to go along with the consensus of how to pose the model. So that’s what I do. But I can’t buy into the hokieness of trumped up costume drama. For me that’s anathema to authenticity. Not that I don’t appreciate the original exotic article, but where is that to be found in these globalized days?
Or is it just that I don’t have the proclivity or talent for clever satire, a la Cindy Sherman? Well, something to aspire to another day!
I JUST LIKE TO CUT TO THE CHASE.
The model chose to wear her pixiesh, threadbare hat as part of the whole costume ritual. So I had to focus harder to avoid thinking ” perky little hat” and stick to my goal of painting portrait as expressionist experiment––My proclivity is towards a form of abstraction that eliminates the extraneous.
If luck is with me, then I will be painting a manifestation of her inner life, and some truth from my own.
I found myself building the painting’s structure with thick impasto strokes, and I used a limited palette.
At least, I did not have to be concerned with flattering or insulting the model by my efforts. A very humble individual, she was interested only in keeping the pose satisfactorily. And I guess she needed the money because she kept mentioning that she was very grateful for the difficult job of posing for our group’s 4 hour session. Never complaining, careful not to talk or laugh. Which kind of produced a zen quality to her concentration.
She hadn’t brought any lunch, so we all shared ours with her. She thanked us for hiring her–– evidently, elderly models aren’t too much in demand. And her hat really didn’t get in the way too much. She allowed herself to be–– a woman of quiet dignity, a woman for all the artistic styles in our painting room.
At a certain point, I thought: my painting is finished. In fact, it kind of painted itself to its final conclusion. So I stopped. After it dried, I used more glazes. I think the painting is “finished” now, whatever that is.