Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Flower Girl

Flower Girl
30 x 40
Oil on Canvas

This little girl when through a lot to get where she is.  I loved the composition of the girl and her grandmother...I loved the feeling of the piece...but I wasn't sure what to put in the background.  I thought maybe a realization of the church.  A flower girl being led into the church by her grandmother told the story I wanted to tell.  An artist friend, Lydia , suggested a church.  She even researched a few source photos.  So the trials began...

I painted the girl and her grandmother.  I am pretty pleased with the placement and the gesture.  Now what to do with the background.  I have since learned that I WILL have a complete concept before I begin a piece...the lessons continue...

I brought my painting into photoshop and "cut out" the figures and placed them on a blank "canvas".  I then laid in the picture of the church and blurred  and faded it a bit to see how it would look.  I liked the result so I decided to proceed. 

Here the church is too realized...the sidewalk is too straight and that bow on the back of the dress!!!!  What was I thinking???

I softened the background...still not happy...
At this point I am trying to figure out what direction to go...Why have I not fixed that bow yet???  AAUUGGHH!!!!

I tried brightening the background a bit and extending the sidewalk to the bottom of the canvas.  Oh, yes, that is my mahl stick hanging down across the grandmother's backside.  I also am not pleased with the little girl's left arm...and the tie in the back (formerly known as the bow)  is now more subtle...hanging and looking looser.  

Undaunted, I decide to try something else with the background.

This is where I landed.  Not everything has to be spelled out...this painting is a story.  A rite of passage.  The grandmother is taking her granddaughter on the first of what could be many trips down the aisle.  My wish is that when people see this they will read their own story...remember their own rites of passage.  The background now lets the viewer find their story in this piece.  


  1. Darling painting! And I just love reading about your process. Really interesting. I like how you ended up! And the bow is now perfect! Wonderful!

  2. Beautifully painted, Maria!!!

  3. The changes are incredible to see! You have such a good editing eye- in fashion, decorating, and especially in painting.


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