I'm enjoying the process of making this piece tremendously. It's very different than any I've done before. Usually I'll start a painting and I'll know basically how it'll look when it's finished since I'm just copying a photograph. With this one, I knew I wanted to work with this image of my model (whom I'm calling Nan) AND I felt called to work with the myriad images of models from women's and teen's magazines. I spent 2-3 days looking for and cutting out pictures then it took another day to get up the courage to paste them onto the canvas. Then I toned them down. A lot. That's the stage the piece was at in the first picture.
The next day I did a lot of work on Nan then got frustrated because she wasn't standing out strongly enough from the background/foreground of the models, so I darkened that substantially more then put a dark ring around her painting. Now it looks like something was burned to make her stand out.
This afternoon when I was finally able to get back to the picture, I realized I wanted to put leaves on top of the models to hide them even more and to evoke woods more strongly. First I took a ladderback chair outside and sat in the garden drawing vines. We have a jasmine vine as well as a hydrangea. Neither one was exactly what I was looking for. Then it occurred to me to go find a beech tree - that's what she's hugging - and draw those leaves. I got a good number of them then came inside and drew them onto the canvas then painted them. I can see they need to be more opaque to show up better, but I think I like how they're looking conceptually. The models are still visible if you look hard enough, but they're less dominant, kind of like they are in most women's brains - they're in the background, subdued - usually - but omnipresent. There may be other things in front of them, but they're always there, lurking in the shadows, peering through, affecting us.
The title keeps changing. Today "Finding her Peace" feels better. Who knows what it'll end up being! Stay tuned! Or if you have a good idea, please write and suggest it!