I started painting today on virgin canvas. I guess the canvas is not completely blank, there is the tracing of pencil where I put down the outline of a new composition. All counting, it took about a week to design the new painting. I had to make drawings. Two drawings came from photographs, one in an artist aid book of nude models posing, and the other in an Italian fashion magazine. Two more figures were drawn with the aid of a poser program my husband uses to create an on-line comic book magazine. He manipulated computer generated bodies to give me poses that I imagined. We printed out on paper these bodies and I re-drew them. I did not use the computer faces, the male got a bull dog's face and the female got a fox's face. To accurately draw the animal faces I used yet another artist's aid book, this one of 19th century animal drawings. Because these drawing are so old, there is no copy-right, and anyone can copy them. In all there are four figures in the composition that I drew from pictures, and three more figures that I drew from my imagination. And then, there are four candles.
This painting is different from others I've done in the past. I'm being influenced by artwork I saw in a gallery here in Brattleboro. I really like this woman's art, I would buy some if I could. Since I can't buy it, an alternative is to make my own. In all the work I've seen so far the woman uses black backgrounds. Flat black or glossy black, but by using black you put the figures in an undisputed imaginary space. No landscape, no sky, no plants, no water no mountains off in the distance. I think that the black makes the image seem like something out of a dream. Black is cold and harsh and urgent. Black makes the color you use pop. I'm not going subtle with the color, there will be strong yellow and green-blue, with some naked flesh, a pink-white dress, and red-hued cobblestones. I am not creating a landscape but I am creating a ground for the images to rest upon and this is a path, in front of black space, made up of dark red-hued cobblestones. Nothing in my painting is floating, it is all anchored on the cobblestone. I like making a ground out of a checkerboard illusion. There is checkerboard ground in my two last pieces, "Monsters Fucking" and "No Place for Tears".
I anticipate that the best part of the painting will be the red, yellow, and blue auras around the candle flames.