Sunday, June 17, 2012

Secrets...from a garden statue

Secrets   Watercolor/Mixed   17.5 x 12.5

The subject of our last watercolor class of the year was architectural detail.  There were stained glass window, archway and garden post paintings.  As this has been a particularly busy time for me, I elected to search my photo archives....and chose a photo taken of this cement garden sculpture that I found on the grounds of an antique shop in Ravenna.  This lovely maiden was found lying down on a dolly.  I began by painting what I saw...the curves of the torso, the hand-carved clumps of hair and the motionless eyes.  A woman in stone.  Silent.  Wow.  My mind wandered to where this maiden had been, where she had been perched over time, and to the her future.  My only directive to myself was "pocked"...a surface characteristic that was, I deemed, essential to the story.  I was in luck.  This scrap of watercolor paper had been soaked and re-soaked...scrubbed and re-scrubbed.  In fact, as I soon discovered, the sizing was gone and pocking occurred each time the brush hit the surface.  Oh, the thrill!  It needed more.  Gouache and slight pastel strokes were added.  The calligraphy was added with watercolor pencil and with line direction in mind.  The small heart above the breast is applied gold leaf.  Silent as she was, she revealed her secrets.  I am pleased.

Secrets...we all have them.

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