Gabby’s Green Shower
Gabby is among the most dramatic of my models. Her facial features are large and expressive; her long-fingered hands can nearly speak; her whole body (wait and see) can assume the most wildly theatrical poses.
In this scene, her face and body language communicate only impatience: I believe she wants to take her shower now.
This one may require some explanation.
In my last picture of Tabatha, I dropped her au naturel into a snowy winter forest. She’s a professional who wouldn’t complain, but it seemed an insensitive deed.
So this time, I moved her to a place better suited to her outfit. The slightly comical, kitschy result reminded me of advertising art, so I put her on the label of an appropriate (if imaginary) product.
The Yellow Flower
Here’s an unusual outdoor picture of Ruby. She’s visiting her friend Nettie (also an excellent model) for the Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
Fortunately she escaped the crowds long enough to take some good photos on the banks of the Mississippi River. I didn’t paint the river because it’s really big and I didn’t have room.
Alfred Guillou (1844-1926), Adieu, 1892, Oil on canvas, 245 x 170 cm, Musee des Beaux-Arts de Quimper
“Richard Dadd’s great painting The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke shows a leather-clad person, axe raised to cleave a hazelnut, perhaps to make a coach for Queen Mab, as Mercutio describes her in Romeo and Juliet. He is intently watched by a grotesque crew of beings of all shapes and sizes. Octavio Paz, in The Monkey Grammarian, says that the sense of the work is a terrifying anticipation. Time is suspended until the axe falls, and the axe is eternally about to fall. Dadd, says Paz, has painted “the vision of the act of vision, the look that looks at a space in which the object looked at has been annihilated”.
“Dadd’s life is a strange combination of violence and inaction. He was a successful young painter in the early 1840s when he accompanied a patron on a long tour of the Middle East, complaining that they never stopped long enough for him to draw what he saw. On his return he showed signs of mental disturbance. His father, who had a gilding business, went with him to Cobham, where the family roots were. They went on a walk in Cobham Park in the evening. There Dadd stabbed and killed his father – the attack was obviously premeditated, as Dadd had prepared his flight out of the country. In a coach in France, he attacked a fellow passenger with a razor, and was apprehended. He claimed to be controlled by demons, and that his father was not his real father.