30 August 2007

margaret's hands

Arches CP 300 gsm, 10" x 14". 3 hours.

these are margaret's hands.

i began the painting as a technical stunt, as the background and the hands are mixed entirely from one red and one green paint. the colors of the two pairs of paints appear in the small ellipses, which in the original pose are dowels used to assemble the table. the background is perylene maroon and chromium oxide green, the hands are pyrrole orange and phthalo green YS. darkest shadows are sepia (hue).

margaret wears a muted ceramic bracelet, and i added colors here to broaden the illuminant and push the red/green flesh mixtures onto the skin as local color, rather than let them float as light (illuminant) color. bracelet colors are whatever was at hand.

in my mind models are like thunderclouds. the steady shafts of sunlight come through, and these are the prearranged poses and agreed upon procedures. but at some point, every relaxed and confident model will throw off a spark -- and the painter has to be ready to grab it in a sketch or photograph. because that is when models become a conduit to something new and outside the work expectations on both sides.

in this case, the spark is a small one, true, but i enjoyed it. the pose came because margaret had been out clubbing the night before, and had gotten her hand stamped at the door with a peculiar cartoon figure. she broke her portrait pose to point it out to me, and i took a photo of the gesture.

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