Originally I did not have a set concept for this acrylic painting; rather it was based off several reference photos I found in a few Bazaar magazines. Although the subject matter is a made-up nymph, I chose not to paint her wings and left them up to the viewer to decide whether they were large or small, insect like or resembling leaves.
What I love the most about painting this besides the vintage jewelry is painting her skin tone; contrary to popular belief skin color isn’t just one color, but a mix of hues ranging from subtle green to vermillion red. It took me many layers to achieve the desired stylized blend of colors in the final layer.
I believe that while tiny details add an incredible amount of depth to any illustration or design they should be used sparingly in order to avoid clogging the message or concept. As Louisa May Alcott put it in her renowned novel, Little Women, “It is the same as wearing all your dresses, hair ribbons, and jewelry all at once, just to let people know you have them!”
I enjoy painting noses and hands, but eyes are a real nightmare to me. I usually struggle with figuring out where to place the eyes and the proportions when compared to the chin, ears, and jaw.
I do find it shocking that people find classic nude art ‘offensive’ when our pop media is filled with celebrities wearing scant bits of clothing and f-bombs filling rap songs. Instagram even deleted carefully composed paintings because they depicted the female body unclothed! That is the same as prohibiting leggings to be worn on school grounds but allowing spaghetti tops and short shorts.
It is not just in art that I have witnessed this discrimination, but in real life as well. Random creeps will preach ‘Breast is best!’ to random pregnant women, but act disgusted at the sight of a woman feeding her infant in public. What are they planning to resort to? A hamburger for a toothless child? Oh wait, with every half-truth and blatant lie that plagues the media from authority figures we shouldn’t be so surprised.
I sincerely hope that my art can reflect the thin line people tread on when it comes to denial and taking offense. We shouldn’t be focusing on whatever foolishness is being broadcasted from Twitter, but on graver concerns, including the environment, discrimination, and senseless religious fear. Remember this: a Versace purse may be someone’s first love, but it does not suit everyone. Religion is the same in that aspect. Thank you for reading, and all be well with thee.