I have said before that the most important line in Hamlet is “Readiness is all….” Many images inhabit my brain for a decade or more. Sometimes even a painting which is 90% completed suffers that same postponement. For whatever reason, I know enough to leave well enough alone when my instincts tell me to step back and wait; the corollary trick is to act when that mood to finish strikes! Once or twice I have even gotten out of bed to correct a misstep or to solve a colour problem. I do not recommend this.
The good news is that this week was finally the time to begin “Nimbus.” One of the reasons I loved the photo is that Erin is not posing. Her ash-blonde hair glowing, even reflecting the warmth of her cheek, the wee girl is rapt in contemplation. Although it is partly shadowed by that glorious hair, her sweet face is relaxed, so completely focused is she on what will forever remain a mystery.
Of course, the other reason I wanted to paint her was that gorgeous mane of hair. Anyone who paints the back of someone’s head is utterly sincere about an enthusiasm for painting hair (see “Rapunzel” in the Portraiture section either by following the link above to my gallery or bookmarking zannekeele.com”). The title comes, of course, from the 17th century word which has the double meaning of “a luminous cloud” or “halo.” Both would suit, on this occasion.
She is largely finished. I am looking forward to the final touches, which include the fine blonde hairs which are so light as to float above her halo.