- Character -
I hung a picture this weekend. A pastel, actually, one from 1990, back when I was
still signing them JWH90. I remember vividly the day I created it. I had set out
to do a companion piece to Neptune, a painting that I looked down at one day and
didn't remember painting, even though the brush was in my hand, and the colors were
arrayed in front of me. I wanted this painting, soft and smudged, to be a woman of
extraordinary ordinariness, a mere mortal. The blues and greens of Neptune's oceans
would be woven in her dress, and I had the traditional ancient iconography ready to go.
What I actually drew was a modern companion to Neptune, a woman with fire in her eyes.
The lines are sharp, and the rough patches of color add a curious dimension to the face.
It's a sketch. Unfinished, some might argue. Cezanne sometimes painted this way - mapping out
a painting, roughing it in, and than only painting part of it - the vegetation and trees in
front of a town (a hauntingly good composition), or the deep shadowy texture of a roof.