Monday, February 6, 2012

Audrey With Flowers at Seven

"Audrey With Flowers at Seven"  (pastel, 26x20 inches)

This is one of my entries that was accepted into the Austin Pastel Society Juried Exhibition this year. (The other accepted entry was "Pigeon Fight", an earlier post.) I'd had this painting in my mind for years, and actually started it more than a year ago. I couldn't quite get it finished for last year's APS Juried Exhibit, so had put it aside for another 11 months...  I had this in my mind as a sort of 'sequel' to a much earlier painting "Audrey With Flowers" from 2002, the first painting I had ever done intentionally for competition:
"Audrey With Flowers"  (pastel, 25x19 inches) sold
Audrey (my daughter) was 2 when I took the reference photos for this, and I was amazed at how cooperative she was with the directions on how to pose. (She was not cooperative the next day when I wanted to get the same shots in a white dress with her hair down! lol)

When I happened to catch her years later in our new house, sitting at the table after breakfast, my artist's eye was struck by the similarities, and I knew I'd have to paint from this one eventually. (Audrey is 12 now, so it only took me 5 years to get to it!)
Below is the original photo for "Audrey With Flowers at Seven." My personal challenge with this composition was to see if I could keep the main subject smack dab in the middle of the painting and still make it work. I so liked the 'in your face' attitude of Audrey staring right into the camera.  I made the book blue and added the blue cereal bowl to create a triangle with the curtain and to keep the eye bouncing around the painting instead of following the shadows out the bottom right corner.

The Austin Pastel Society Exhibit will be at the Chase Bank Building Corredor of Art at 700 Lavaca, Austin, Texas, from February 27 to May 5, 2012. The reception and awards ceremony is Sunday March 5, 3-5pm. (I won't make the reception; I'll be in Houston in the Bayou City Art Fest, but wish me luck!)
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