...or a return, at least, to incorporating people into my work as the principle subject.
A Cloudy Day at the Beach - 22 x 28 inches - acrylic on canvas
Originally, I started this piece as one of my Color-Panel paintings: at that time, the foremost figure, from a photo of a friend a friend of mine made when she was teaching in Japan (image not posted here), was more closely cropped by the sides of a smaller canvas; and if I remember correctly, I did not start it then because I was unable to decide on a background.
At some point, I was inspired by this image I saw in the April 2005 issue of House and Garden magazine, to include a figure in a similar pose, but reading, behind.
However, when I came back to this painting more recently, I thought I would paint one of the whippets (the skinny, white dogs in such works as my, "Winter Coats") sitting behind the front figure. The canvas, at this point, was going to be a taller, narrow canvas the same width as the originally planned size, though of course without the bars on the sides. Then I went back to the reader idea, combining several additional images for the model.
"A Cloudy Day at the Beach," is also a good example of my incorporation, collaging, of various sources. The pattern on the nearest swim suit and reader's towel are both adapted from Elizabeth Peyton's painting, "Ben Drawing,"
...the first of her paintings I saw - reproduced in the reviews section of Art in America or ARTnews. I was able, at that time, to find a few additional images of her work online. At any rate, enjoyed the look of her work, the drawing, use of color, and fluid application of paint, often dripping and running. I've yet to see her paintings except in reproduction, but do enjoy the images, so a bit of homage.
Though it doesn't appear as prominently in, "Beach," as in other works, I frequently use elements from scenic wallpapers such as this one from Griffin and Wong, for bits of foliage or to separate spaces.
The background finally presented itself this past Autumn when I visited an exhibition of paintings from the Walter's Museum (Baltimore) that was on view at the Blanton (here in Austin) in the form of Constant Troyon's, "Coast Near Villers.
A bit less foreboding, weather-wise, in my adaptation with a little change in topography. Originally, I was going to use another beach-scape by one, Ludovic Lepic, that was in the catalog to another exhibit, "Sargent and the Sea," which I saw this past summer at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. One of the paintings in that exhibition, "Neapolitan Children Bathing," from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts,
also ended up in my painting when I decided I needed some figures on the beach (also presenting an opportunity to pay tribute to Sargent, another long time favorite).
The little fellow with the floating devices pretty much demanded an update with bright orange water wings...