So even though I have started two new oil paintings (small) to add to the series I started on "self-portrait- in- bathroom- mirror- with- venetian- blind- stripes" I have also become a bit side tracked by my pastels again. I haven't worked with them in a while but doing the small waterfall piece worked up my enthusiasm. I want to do something new in pastel anyway as I'm scheduled to show in July with a group of pastel artists (some deceased, but famous, the rest, like me, alive but not so famous:-). I had originally thought about giving them Nude on Blue Pillow but that sold last month and I can't see me refusing a good sale when times are this tough just so I can put the piece in a show. Time for something new in any case.
This is going to another of Heather with Peonies. I took a few really nice reference shots that day and decided the subject is worth another go. Heather has beautiful pale skin tones that seem to match the delicacy of the pale pink Peony colours and the contrast with the dark leaves is striking. Just as Samanda's deep golden skin tones complement the rich tropical colours I used in the last painting of her I like to utilize and echo colours and values in a whole piece that seem to be all of one presence. To me a portrait is not just of the person but the surrounding atmosphere as well.
This will be a horizontal format with Heather off center and balanced by flowers behind her and only one or two in front of her. I even like the striped T-shirt she wore that day, which I had changed for the first painting I did to a solid turquoise colour...I had a nice one that I asked her to wear for a second photo shoot. This time the stripes will add some needed extra interest, I think, since I am cropping most of her body out of the image.