Monday, December 21, 2009
This painting began with a photo of Japanese Maple leaves back-lit by the bright November sun. I imagined I would paint a sunny salute to the winter blues. But I studied the reference, squinting and glancing for quite some time. I wanted to be sure I knew what this painting was about before I began. Christmas music played soothingly in the background. Soon I saw that the leaves looked like little red-robed fairy-angels hovering over a candle lit service in a large cathedral. The blue sky became the cathedral window, soft with the blue of an early evening sky. The little halos of light became distant candles. When I finally finished, I saw the Virgin Mary in silhouette with babe in arms, an entirely unintended likeness.
I liked the process for this painting. Figuring out the background was a trick, but after that I was not plagued by fears that I was toiling over a disaster. I love layering rich color with pastels.
Have a blessed holiday season, everyone!