Saturday, February 5, 2011
Hello Little Bird
Original oil painting 20x16"
by Susan Roux
After being thrashed around by Scarlet, my hot ticket, I was determined to find innocence. I took Hello Little Bird to the opposite extreme. I needed to calm myself after the frustration and aggravation Scarlet the tartlet gave me.
I must admit that though my anger stills surfaces at the sight of her, I do think she's well done. I laugh thinking she may be the first in the series to sell. One thing for certain, she sparks conversation!
The art class that convened after she was painted was instantly in an uproar of excitement and laughter. I mentioned how I couldn't hang her on my wall because she still upset me so. Without hesitation, the gentleman in my class blurted that he would have no problem with her hanging on his wall! His eyes were popping out of his head. I think his forehead beaded with sweat. Comments of what this tartlet wanted rang sharply and continuously through the two hour session. Laughter on how she had control of me the entire time and my still visible anger permeated the room. Scarlet caused quite a raucous! At one point, I had to move her out of the gentleman's sight. She was too distracting for him to accomplish any painting...
By the end of class I had become the brunt of their jokes. Finally I picked her up and held her in front of my easel at the height she was when I painted her. Instantly the laughter stopped as they glimpsed the angle at which I was being stared at. That strong glaring attitude piercing down on me was extremely intimidating. Suddenly they understood my boiling feelings.
Next, an observation made from a beginner student, surprised me. She has only been painting since September. Her insight is keen and she mentioned that since I created her, there must be part of myself in her. Somewhere in my core is this floozy and perhaps I'm so upset with her because she exposes a part of me I like to keep hidden... Ouch.
Moving on to Hello Little Bird...
I started with a calm pose and changed a lot of things during the painting process. I was crabbing at a direction, a feeling, I wanted this painting to possess. I was unsure of what that should be. At the beginning I had a breaking wave in the foreground.
She didn't seem to want to pop like all my other girls in this series. Finally I removed the wave that lined up with the highlight of her skirt. She became a stronger image. I kept struggling with challenging focal points. I painted splashes around her feet. At one point the bird was nearly annihilated all together. A clear direction for this painting was not visible. Then it hit me. It was all about her approaching the bird. The splashes need to go. The feeling I was looking for was one of gentleness. A soft non-intimidating approach was necessary. The bird needed to trust her.
Finally with a clear focus, she quickly took on an angelic feeling. The drape of her dress reminded me of wings. I can almost imagine her raising her arms and watching them transform into beautiful, light-catching feathers in a vision on an angel that only the bird can see...