And now, into the refridgerator
Soups and (even more so, one might argue) stews all prosper by sitting in the refridgerator for a day or two after cooking. So I am putting Big Maria into the icebox. Truth be told, the stew analogy is probably a bad one, at least as far as this painting is concerned. One presumes that the stew is done before cooling. Not so the case with Big Maria. With her much work remains.
Most notably, as lovely as the red veil is, the shape of it doesn't really suggest what it would look like were it, in fact, draped over the top of her head. That said, there are points to be scored for referencing the slighly surreal imagery of early religious iconography. Certainly anatomical correctness (AC) was low on their list of key qualities.
Nonetheless, I'm putting Maria away for a little bit--enough time to allow me to stew (honk!) about her. For argument's sake, one could muster a position that says make the space under the arch blue, black and red (as the veil is now), and make the veil yellow, black and blue (as the space is now). This would solve the question of the shape of the veil by making it as much a halo as a piece of clothing. No way I'm jumping on that bandwagon, but still, it's there.
Further to the question of the halo. I mentioned in my video that I would put one in. Upon further stewing (honk!) I decided that the yellow archway is as much a halo as it is an architectural element Also, with a less overt halo, the religious part of the paint doesn't necessarily get rammed down the throat, so to speak, the way one might, say, force-feed corn to a goose.
(Just typing those words makes me think fondly of how the chefs at Lutece used to stuff pate de foi gras under the skin of a chicken just before roasting it. Alas, those were different times)
Please note that despite all this talk of refridgerators, this is not to say that the creative fields will now lie fallow. No. There'll be no winter mustard crop for me, no matter how cold it remains here in Upper Virginia.
No. Instead, I submit for your consideration the following:
Let the spectacle begin!
I'll close with a quick note on the lyrics of Joan Baez' "The Night They Drove Ole' Dixie Down." More to the point: the actual words in the line that often goes You can't raise a Cane back up when it's in defeat are, in fact, open to significant debate. I am particularly speaking about "defeat" (which I always thought was actually "the fields"), but also "it's" vs. "he's", "the" vs. "a", and the capitalization of Cane.
I'm assuming that as I paint Robert E. Lee all these things will become clear to me. I see no reason why they wouldn't.