New painting finally complete and let me tell you, this was a long time in the making!
I began this painting a year and a half ago and worked on her regularly until last summer when I just lost momentum. I felt like she needed something else or that the painting needed another element or maybe more four leaf clovers for good luck... I don't know. She had me perplexed for a while. I almost painted out the flowers, then I decided to leave them and just darken them enough to subdue them into the background but then they were too dark and she was too bright. The balance on this piece was like a dance: sometimes it flowed and other times it fumbled.
I changed her face three to four times trying to get the right look, which sometimes is super easy and other times it's torture. In her case it was just trial and error. She hung on my wall for a couple months at the studio and then I took her home hoping for added inspiration while I fine tuned her on days I was there. I'm finally calling her done. I have nothing more to add without fear of messing up the good that's there. Sometimes that's the finishing point for an artist because sometimes the "as is" is just perfectly acceptable within a domain of imperfection, which is in fact, ours. There's a point in painting, as in life, when you have to know to let it be.
This painting is pretty special to me personally. It had various meanings through its development for me, much of it inspirational and the title has changed each time but I decided on "The Charmed Muse". I had hoped to have it complete last March for a partial thematic St. Patrick's Day thing but I'm -- gulp -- a year late.
I enjoyed my time painting her. She was a pleasure to look at for so long, and to go through that lengthy process of creating, modifying and finalizing her while feeling her energy out to ultimately making the various changes she demanded as she came to life was an interesting progression of thought and creative pondering. She changed every few months and so this point of "finished" has a bit of empowerment to it. I've never taken this long to complete a painting so I've never had an internal dialogue with other paintings as I have had with this one. Pretty sexy painting, I think.
The building to the left is Savannah City Hall with its gold dome, which you can't tell is gold in the photo. It was an afterthought element which is why there is so little of it in the frame but I want it known what it is because Savannah has served as a "muse" to my artistic inspirations, as well as the person I'm becoming and the directions I'm setting some of my larger bets on. Savannah, the city and its imprints, had a distinct and definite influence on the progression of this painting.