I put finishing touches on Bling Lady today while I was in the studio. I worked on her right arm and the shadow on the right as well as other bits and pieces. I'll let it sit in the studio for a few days to see how it feels, but I think she's done.
This is such a different piece than others I've done. It feels more like a portrait than a piece that is only about bodies, though, of course, it incorporates that completely as well. I think it's evident in this piece how the model feels about her body, and I like what it says about her. I get a kick out of having her bike helmet in the piece. I looked at it today and blocked out the helmet to see if I liked it better, but I find that the piece actually looks a bit barren without it. It also throws the symmetry off just enough to increase the interest of the piece. It's all good.
Tomorrow if I have time to work in the studio (I probably won't), I have a canvas prepared to begin work on a piece I've been dying to work on for quite a while. I love the image. Not quite sure why. I love it so much I went to great lengths to be able to paint it! The model was hesitant to have me paint it for personal reasons. I completely respect that. No problem. Except that I was really wanting to paint it because the image is compelling to me for whatever reason. She told me she'd think about it. In the meantime, I was so enthralled by the image that I drew it in my sketchbook, then I drew the hand. Then, after the model expressed her hesitation a second time, I asked Chris to photograph me in the same position. We worked hard to get the lighting just right and my position. He took the picture and did a great job, but when I looked at it, it just wasn't the same. My body isn't the same size so I don't fit into the chair the same way. The gesture she's making just isn't me. My body doesn't work the same. It was fascinating to me to see the difference. It re-emphasizes for me how each woman is completely herself when she models and that essence shows up in these photos and paintings. That's what I love about them. Even when there are no faces, the paintings are expressions of the essence of each woman. I don't know that that means they are identifiable to others, but I imagine (and hope) they are very familiar to themselves in a sweet lovely way.
Oh, and the good news is that after I told my friend how hard I'd tried to replicate the image, she gave me permission to paint the picture, so now I'm stoked! Can't wait to get into the studio again - though it'll probably be next Monday before I have time.