Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lilah S. (Ash Wedneday)

It's fun to unroll stuff and mess with it--in lieu of painting Paul Krugman. This painting, titled either "Lilah S." or "Lilah S. (Ash Wednesday)", has kicked around my universe for a long time (as I measure it).



I finished it on Ash Wednesday of 2006 and always wanted to put the ashes on her but could never quite pull the trigger, in large part because Lilah herself resisted the notion. But I haven't talked to her in several years and besides, in the end, it's my painting, not hers.

More than the ash, however, was the desire to fix her hair. I don't know what I was thinking back then, but that hair was a disaster. I always knew it was--so that's no excuse. Now, with a keener painterly understanding of hair, I've revisited it.

Thus:



Sorry about the glare--gloss paint is a pain in the ass to shoot. But check out those ashes! I wrestled with the notion of toning them way down. I mean, they really pop off her forehead. But the other side of the argument--the winning side--is that her lips really pop too, so this gives the image some balance it never had before. And in fact, in the end I even added a bit of decorative filigree to the cross itself. What can't be denied is that the whole thing is now several levels creepier than it used to be. Which is a good thing, I think.

I also fixed a little bit of her nose, redefining the tip:



What may also not be evident is that Lilah's painting is six feet high, five feet wide. And with her staring out at you like that--well, she really fills a room.

And this would be the actual girl, in the flesh. Be still my heart.



To see her in sunlight was to see Marxism die.

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