Sunday, November 6, 2011

A St. Cecilia painting and sequence

I've been fiddling around with the idea of a St. Cecilia painting since last spring.  She is considered the patron saint of music and musicians, because at her wedding she is said to have sung in her heart to God.
I love music, and the image of musicians in art, so this is a pretty good fit for one of my retablo-ish works.

  Painted the image onto a ground of yellow ochre and then, in a less-than-organized way, began to add the complementary colors--making a sort of color negative. The pink went onto the wall and rug, and I added the green on top.

I picked the Neo-classical costume mostly because I'd recently finished Jane Austin's Persuasion, and the time period seemed a good fit for a lady playing a lute-like instrument.

  Same with the next two pics in the sequence. Purple on top of the wainscot, yellow-ochre onto that. I wanted this to have a bit of a storybook feel, so the next step was to add black marks--a modified hatching--with a fine brush, on top of each section.

 Lots of layers of transparent glazes followed. This is the finished painting. St. Cecilia. Acrylic on cradled hardboard, 6" x 12", private collection. The hatch marks hark back to my ink-and-watercolor works.  I like the technique applied to an acrylic painting very much, and plan on more exploration of this.

 This detail shows St. Cecilia's instrument fretless.

Adding the frets finished it off.  Sorry about the glare, but forgot to photograph the finished work before I added some glossy glazes.  Thanks for checking this out--hope you like it!

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