My high school art teacher Mrs. Baragona would hate it because there's no depth to the background, but I don't give a shit. Well, truth is part of me would like the BG to be incorporated into the piece a bit more, but regardless I'm moving on. I actually have a reason behind why I left it stark white relating to what I'm attempting to say about my friend the lovely Ms. Akana, but I'll keep that to myself (never give answers as to what you're trying to say). Still just because you have a reason for doing something in a painting doesn't mean it works and that you're infallible to criticism against it...
I also struggled with if I should have left the neck so muddy and undefined (another thing Mrs. B would have hated), but I think it's obviously purposeful since the rest is not like that at all... but again does my deciding to do something justify it if it looks bad... and does it look bad?
Truthfully I'm really in love with the painting. As I told Lizzi, I'd like to elope with it to Vegas and marry it, but the Republicans still refuse to acknowledge marriages between a man and a painting... Thanks Obama! (I don't get politics at all) I actually think the whiteness works way more in person. I don't think it translates to the hastily taken iPhoto I took in my ill lit room particularly well, hence my gripes about it "not working" as we beret wearers say.
Anyway for those unfortunately unacquainted with Lizzi and her spectacularness here's a photo of her that I used for reference after she fled the scene to help me finish it up. Also you'll find the progression of it over four sessions.
This is it after the first session with Lizzi in the room.
During the second one I cleaned up the BG and began adding color bleeding to her hair.
Third go around I did a lot of touch up work and lightened her right cheek so it looked less like she had a five o'clock shadow... I lightened up the left on in the final pass.
Between this and the last painting I made of The Black Tree I feel like I've finally gotten my sea legs back AND shaken the dust off (the cobwebs still there though). I'm finally back my Freshman Foundation bravado and faith in myself and am able to make marks and explore without worrying and thinking. This is a major improvement over an as of yet unsuccessful attempt to portraitify another friend (Sorry Sarah but I keep fucking it up worse and worse). Definitely working larger is my milieu too.
Anyway now I just need to figure out how to combine the portraits with the abstract landscapes in a way that doesn't come off like some cheesy high school painting where the person paints a landscape and draws an eyeball floating in the sky, then turns it sideways because they're trying to prove how artsy they are.
Anyway don't take my grumblings too seriously like I said, I'm really pleased and do consider it done. There's just always a loathing period I have to push through when I finish a painting where I think "you can do better than this garbage you fuck head and it's not done, you're just lazy and too afraid to keep working because you might fuck up the good stuff that's there and too uncreative to come up with what should go in the unfinished bits."
Did I just let you too deep into the chaos fuck of self loathing and self doubt mixed with an ever underlying feeling of superiority that is my brain? Good because that's my art work so deal with it.
Anyway I hope you like it. Because I do.
Lastly, if I do add anything to it (and here's a hint as to what I'm trying to say in the piece), it'll be a brown circle like the kind left by a coffee cup on a napkin. I'm not sure though. I've never been into outright symbolism in my paintings. When I look back on my high school paintings where I did that, they just seem cheesy: like the one where I'm jumping into a puddle and surprised to be falling in, or the door that opens into a bunch of chess pieces floating in the air... Again I reference the above photo from "She's All That."