The Terracotta General – 2013

In honor of my parent’s visit to Shanghai and Beijing this spring, I painted my mother’s favorite part of the trip; the terracotta army. The background was doused with tea and coffee.

The Terracotta General, 2013

The Terracotta General, 2013

2013-Amerique du Sud-Aged 19

This is the last thing I will paint before hopping off to school tomorrow. This woman personifies South America and she is the first painting of 2013 and the fourth in the continent series.

Unlike the others, this woman was created with more cultural inspiration. I looked at images from Machu Picchu to get ideas for the rock and ground. The background is based on the snowy mountains in Bolivia.

I placed the woman in a seated position to emulate the Incan sitting mummies. If I am historically correct, the Inca sacrificed a child to the gods by taking this child up to a mountain top. Once there, the children were killed or were allowed to die of exposure to the elements. In many cases the child was then placed in a sitting position, wrapped and naturally mummified. Today many such mummies have been found in the hilltops of Peru.

I also studied images of native South American women to capture the high, prominent cheekbones and braided hairstyles.

Amerique du Sud, 2013

Amerique du Sud, 2013

I have already painted women from:

The Middle East : https://lastoftheromanticists.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/2012-arabe-aged-19/

Far East Asia : https://lastoftheromanticists.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/2012-asie-aged-19/

and North America : https://lastoftheromanticists.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/2012-amerique-du-nord-aged-19/

Over the summer I will finally get to put together Africa and Europe.

2012-Amerique du Nord-Aged 19

After going to school in New England for over a year now I thought it would come the time when I would have to paint something related to the region. So I did this with my North American girl.  Bates College is in the state of Maine and the original inhabitants were from the Wabanaki tribe.  The first European settlers in this region were French.

I maintain the titles in French.

Amerique du Nord, 2012

Amerique du Nord, 2012

2012-Arabe- Aged 19

After several months of waiting to come home to my canvas I have finally painted something. During my wait I was inspired to paint a nude from every continent and every side of a continent. This woman personifies the Middle East and she is the first in the series. Hopefully I will be able to finish the last five in time for school this January.

I maintain the title in French.

Arabe, 2012

Arabe, 2012

This was designed to be an improvement on a similar orientalist painting I did : https://lastoftheromanticists.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/dscn1030.jpg

With the full article at : https://lastoftheromanticists.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/2012-in-the-name-of-scotland-aged-19-2/

2012-Anna Bolena-Aged 19

So after painting “My Lady Greensleeves” (https://lastoftheromanticists.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/2012-my-lady-greensleeves-aged-19/comment-page-1/#comment-21), I decided to paint Anne Boleyn. This rendition is inpired by a promotional picture for the TV series “The Tudors” and it features Natalie Dormer as the ill-fated Anne.

Anna Bolena, 2012

In the classic manner of portraiture of the times, I included her romanticized name and her status as queen (Regina). I also added the year she was beheaded simply because I wanted to.

2012-My Lady Greensleeves-Aged 19

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.