This past summer I spent a relatively long time when I was on holiday in London looking at art. I love being near the great museums, wherever they are, and I had just finished a painting at home that reflected this obsession of looking at art. I can so easily get lost into a particular work and find a new world. That was the focus of “Through the Doorway”, a painting I had finished just before I had gone on holiday.
When I was in Paris in 2012, I had observed a young woman intensely looking at Francis Bacon’s “Female Nude Standing in a Doorway”. Headset on, she was listening, but it was the twist of her pose on the bench that caught my attention
The scene was at the Center Pompidou, the museum of contemporary art in the center of Paris.
And the Bacon work dominated the room in content if not in size.
I wanted the pink of the art lover’s scarf to connect with the hints of pink in Bacon’s nude, so I under painted the wall on the canvas with the same pink undertone. When it was fairly dry, I worked on top of this dominating color. My hope was its essence would peek through.
The diagonal on the wall to the left of the painting was added to complete the connection. The warm colors reflected the reality of the Center Pompidou, especially the predominant golden floor, but also enhanced the warmth I perceived the viewer felt from the art.
My dear friend in LA, who is also an artist and art teacher, noticed my subject’s leg in the forefront didn’t look correctly weighted. I was happy I had sent her a jpeg of the work in progress. After much consideration, I adjusted the leg and foot and added shadowing. A fresh eye in this case was very welcome. Sometimes you get so wrapped up in the scene, you miss the obvious.
I spent weeks with the figure making sure she was comfortable. I added an edge of wall on the right and a bit of light on the floor so she didn’t seem so boxed in.
Art is all about connection and taking us to a world beyond the day-to-day. Bacon certainly succeeds.
I hope my “Through the Doorway” accomplishes this, also.