So I just finished this painting last night. This painting is inspired by the song “Greensleeves”. It is a traditional English folk tune from the 16th century. The story goes that Henry VIII wrote the tune for his future queen Anne Boleyn. For those of you who are not familiar (or never watched “The Tudors”), Miss Boleyn played hard to get when the king first set his eyes on her and he only became crazier and crazier about her. So the ballad fundamentally says “How can I give you so much and you still don’t want me…my finely clad lady greensleeves.”
So here she is…My Emerald Lady .
My Lady Greensleeves, 2012
But of course it is most likely the promiscuous king never composed the song for chronological and technical reasons. But whichever Mr./Ms. Anonymous who did create the tune…hats off to you.
The song inspired other songs and at least one painting that I have seen. It is a song that is very visual with its lyrics; it describes a graceful beauty dressed most elegantly at court and is easily recognizable by the color of her clothes. It is very easy to translate into art.
So…initially I wanted to use watercolors to achieve the background effect but I learnt all too quickly that watercolor + canvas=not a good idea. Watercolor can stain the fabric but not actually stay and over time may eventually come off or fade. Plus the watercolor effect is best on paper. So I wiped off the original watercolor off on the bottom left hand side corner and recreated the pouring and diluted staining with oil paint.
It took careful planning and patience to create the halo around my lady’s head but I pulled it off without injury.
The colors I used are specifically : English green, sap green, Van Dyck brown, raw sienna, permanent violet (that’s what it says on the tube…dunno why it’s called permanent), cobalt blue, and cadmium red with the occasional black and white where needed.
So if you want to hear the song here it is…
I do not own this video or the song. It is here for entertainment purposes.