Back to the Beauty

 48 x 60 inch, oil on canvas, giclees available
Four women with doves

Back To Beauty 48x60 oil on canvas

This is a study of four beautiful women in classically elegant clothes in a boudoir. The central figure was inspired by a photo by famous photographer Irving Penn which appears in Vogue. These four friends define vogue with their beauty and attire.

Each subject portrays a different mood and feeling. From the left, the first woman has the carefree and playfulness of youth. She is the forever young free-spirited, teasing child-woman dress in a lacy, airy sundress. Seated next to her is the straight backed, conservative and contemplative friend listening to her. The central figure is the most maternal and shows inner strength, poise, independence, beauty, love, and wears a century-old, laced-backed dress that would still be en vogue in the modern world. The beautiful reclining bride-to-be is the blooming flower of the quartet. She looks out to her future with hope and dreams and inner peace.

This painting has many layers. From a distance, the central figure’s dress seems to flow to the bottom of the canvas. As you approach the painting, it becomes clear that there is really two dresses and two different women. Perhaps they are the same woman at different times in their lives.  Each of the women evokes a different feeling in the viewer.
Flowers are a central image in the painting and remind us of the fleeting nature of beauty. Its fragility is also shown with the doves.
The artist used the classical seven layer technique of the Flemish Masters in her painting. This process can take nearly a year to finish with a month for each layer to dry. This technique permits painting with realistic flesh colors, three dimensional depth and transparent veils. This time consuming process helps create a central bouquet of roses in which you can see the curve of each petal. The dresses themselves become flower-like petals draping the women.

Subtle facial expressions are achieved by an underlayer of shading that gives the illusion of muscular contraction. The slightest difference portrays a contemplative look and underlying happiness.