Friday, August 30, 2013

National Gallery of Art - Girl Arranging Her Hair after Mary Cassatt

Girl Arranging Her Hair  (After Mary Cassatt)
22 x 26
Oil on Canvas

Here she version of Mary Cassatt's "Girl Arranging Her Hair."  I am pleased with how it turned out though I could have tinkered with it for another couple of weeks.  I learned a lot painting this piece.  I learned a lot about Mary Cassatt.  I especially liked that she paid close attention to everything in her compositions...nothing was gratuitous or superfluous...everything had a reason for being included.  My process included painting in everything just to get it all in place.  I then concentrated on brush strokes.  The nightgown was painted with lots of paint and rough strokes...a lot of texture.  

Here you can see the original and my version.  The lighting is not always stellar so mine looks much lighter...but it is not.  There is sunlight coming from the huge ceiling windows and it varies according to cloud cover.  I can be painting merrily when a cloud passes overhead and the room can really throw you off.  A small price to pay for being a part of this wonderful program.  

Here I am in action.  A dear friend and fellow artist, Lydia, stopped by and snapped a few photos of me hard at work.  As always, comments were varied, numerous and complimentary.  Kids always want to know why I would paint something that is already painted...they are so inquisitive.  I love getting their perspective on the artwork that surrounds us.  

I applied to remove my painting from the gallery...I handed my paperwork to the guard, he checked the canvas and made sure the numbers matched and OK'd my request.  One more copy completed.  I have begun research and am trying to decide which piece to copy next.  So many paintings so little time!!!


  1. The nightgown is exquisite! Sp beautiful! I love how they checked it to make sure you weren't stealing the original :)

  2. Congratulations on the completion of this piece, Maria. I always loved this painting and you painted it perfectly!!! I can't wait to see the start of your next one.!!

  3. Thank you for once again taking us along to share your fascinating experience! I love these gallery posts. If I could, I'd apply to that program and commute from Indiana to Washington to paint along side of you - and come every day! And I love your copy choices. They always provoke me to learn more about the painting and the subject which leads to learn more about the artist. Bam! An art history lesson is thrown in. I couldn't find a lot of background about this painting, everything focuses in on Cassatt's use of repetition to highlight the subject, in this case using repetitive curves and angles as well as the limited palette. But I've always been curious by the subject and why she painted this rather homely girl with the round face, weak chin, and serious overbite. I always zero right in on her face. Maybe that's why this painting provokes and remains memorable. You did a wonderful job Friend! Did you love painting it? What did you learn?

  4. Another amazing piece of artwork and experience. When do you start the next one? And how do you decide on what to paint? So wonderful that you can do this!

  5. Oh my goodness what a beautiful piece.
    I hope you are hanging these in your home for you to enjoy them.

  6. Looks amazing Maria! What an accomplishment! I can't wait to see what you do next!


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