Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Soldier's Tale - A Painting for My Living Room
Over the Memorial Day weekend, my home air conditioner went kaput, so I bought a new one.  Thanks to recent improvements in technology, my new air conditioner has twice the BTUs and about half the size of the old one.  That means it now fits in the window, and I had a gaping hole in my wall.

Thankfully, I have a handyman contact who did a superb job of plugging up the hole both inside and out.  This took quite a bit of work, which shouldn't surprise anyone who's ever been involved in home repair.  My handyman took extra trouble for me, and for that I am grateful.  Now I was left with a grey 22" x 26" piece of drywall high on my living room wall.

If I were younger, I might have put gesso over the drywall and painted right on it.  Since I'm a senior citizen, I bought a canvas that will mask everything but the spackling.  Above is the finished picture.

I wanted something both beautiful and restful to look at.  Hence I chose four figures from four different periods of history and put them into a Dido-and-Aneas-like scent.  The soldier figure is from a famous early 19th century Aneas, and the queen figure is Maria Callas in the 1965 Norma.  The lady in red is from a Winterhalter painting of the Empress Eugenie and her ladies.  Madame de Pompadour is the figure in the flowered dress; both she and the Winterhalter lady have been dressed a la Mucha to preserve my theme.  The flowered carpet seems to have created the three dimensional effect I wanted.

This is the first large canvas I've done.  Mostly I paint on wooden boxes or small wood plaques.  This one was for my own pleasure.

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