Under My Ophelia

a few days ago ophelia found a new home. that same day my daughter asked me if i remembered the time when ophelia had a horse. i had totally forgotten

My daughter’s question prompted me to search my photos of Ophelia in progress. I was shocked at the pictures I found, and flooded by a deluge of memories and emotions ranging from sadness to whimsy. The photos have made me realize how ephemeral my works, in their varioius stages, can be and why it is essential that I photograph them. The story of Ophelia is deeper and more complicated than my memory has allowed. It’s a story of anger and short-lived forgiveness. It’s a story of internal war and temporary peace. And it’s a story of a one-day horse.

as always i start with some fairly simple lines. i think what appear to be wings are actually the original position of her arms. i don't remember what i was planning for her to be doing

first dabs of color and what looks like a torpedo on her skirt. when i look at it now- mind you i painted this a year ago-it all seems quite intentionally phallic. i call this the hully gully stage

the dress is starting to take shape in this phase. the red of the sash and the white of her top are established. the torpedo is disappearing

her face is formed and her arms are a little more defined. i start painting the background cerulian blue

more blue. her arms disappear and i soon forget all about them

enter the horse. there are obviously some steps missing. i like the horse and i like her but not the two together so one has to go

i come into the studio one morning fuming. in a fit of anger, this is what happens

then peace is slowly and systematically dripped over the storm. i'm thinking at this point that i want grass in the background

and pink flowers. i start with the red underpaint

but the flowers are looking more like gelatinous blobs. so i decide that they are jellyfish

i add puffy sleeves and outline the skirt. i know that she is almost done

and she is.

1 Comments on “Under My Ophelia”

  1. What an amazing journey she’s been through… thank you for sharing. Love the horse & anger phases.

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