Monday, January 3, 2011

Playing Hard to Get

Dreaming of Italy  20x24  open studio oil

There's a painting by Degas that has at its center a sumptuous bouquet of flowers. The lavish arrangement fills the space. But the flowers for all their exuberance, play second fiddle to the woman at their side. Pushed to the right, cropped and much smaller than the posies, the woman still controls the canvas.
How does she do it? First, by having a strong and interesting face. But second and more importantly, she does it with her gaze. She isn't looking at the viewer or the flowers but stares at something beyond the frame. You simply have to look along with her and in the process, look intently at her. It's as though she's playing hard to get by ignoring us and the flowers, and as any Cosmo article would tell you, thus garnering all the attention.
My painting borrows a little of the Degas composition though the bouquet is much, much smaller! The diptych shown in the background of my painting, as my title implies, reminds me of an Italian landscape.
For more talk of Degas, see my post here.


  1. Your painting and your words have me contemplating... It is a cool composition. I like it.

  2. Every time you post a painting and I see it, it lifts my heart. There is something about your sherbet colors and the blending of your strokes that is so appealing and inviting. It feels like a safe and welcoming world to me. I love your work!

  3. j'ai dû réfléchir....j'ai trouvé... avec la confirmation du lien.. bonne idée d'interprétation libre d'un tableau! bravo

  4. Thank you ELFI. French is such a beautiful language!

  5. Très belle harmonie de couleurs... Le choix de la couleur blanche pour le chemisier du personnage est intéressant et éclaire votre sujet. J'aime l'attitude de votre jeune femme, pensive... Une grand ouverture d'interprétation dans ce tableau...

  6. Thank you, Martine. I think you're teaching me to read French!


Is it too early to send an invitation?

Pieces by (clockwise from left to right) : Susan Harlan, Janet Garner, Shirley Fachilla, Mike Martino and Topper Williams. So many ...