I borrowed this Venetian porcelain doll head from my art teacher. It made me think of Japanese mask theater. It took a while to come with a composition that made the idea clear. Finally, a little pink wild rose from a bush up my street did it. I am not much for painting flowers, but it was perfect.
I had a lot of trouble painting this still life. For the sake of experiment I did the underpainting in Prussian Blue. The thought of Michelangelo’s blue/green underpainting was on my mind. A mistake. Prussian Blue is such a cold tone. It took me the better of two weeks to warm this up. But oil is so forgiving. It let me warm up the parts I wanted warm and keep the vase cool and crisp. Then I struggled with the flower. As I said – flowers are not my thing, I didn’t even have pigments suitable for flowers. Trying to mix cool and hot pink based on Alizarin Crimson was a loosing battle. I had to go and buy quinacridone magenta, and then borrow a smidgen of quinacridone violet, and that did it. And what in world possessed me to choose the vase that has 9 ellipses? I must be a glutton for punishment. I tweaked and corrected the darned ellipses until the thought of switching to abstract painting style settled prominently in my head.
The moment when I finally painted my initials was a real victory.
6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) oil on gessobord panel.