Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Arabesque Bridal Gowns

"Arabesque Bridal Gowns"
"15 x 20"


Today's work is a piece I've developed from photos I took at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, where we attended a Chieftains concert in March. In the lobby were featured about 40 wedding gowns from the Arab world on mannequins as part of their upcoming show, "Arabesque." I was so taken with the beautiful gowns that I decided I would paint three of them as an entry for the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Show, "Linear Visions." That was likely a mistake right there -- best to paint all year what you want and select from finished paintings. If you've read earlier posts, you know I will enter "Pepere's Blacksmith Shop, 1909 - 2009."

I decided to flatten the plane and I designed a background suggesting dry mountains in keeping with my impression of some of the Arab lands. I did several prototypes shown earlier in this blog and settled on one using neutralized colors that would show off the clear, bright colors of the gowns. I added a strip of decorative work along the bottom using a stamp with Arabesque pattern. (In the original the decorative line is straight.)

When I got done, I thought the piece was well-painted, but lacked emotional appeal. I set out to show the beauty of another culture, but the final result seems hohum. I'd be interested in your reactions and suggestions.

3 comments:

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Mary,
I'm a little reluctant to give comments because I don't feel all that qualified. But, your image is compelling!

I like the painting of the women. I like the painting of the landscape. But, somehow they don't work together for me. As you might imagine, I would suggest a more abstracted background for the women. Perhaps something that picked up the pattern of the dresses or just a simple geometric pattern to tie things together.
Perhaps a couple of compositional thumbnails might get the ideas flowing? I like the idea!

Mary Paquet said...

Peggy, thanks so much for giving me some feedback. I will try some compositional sketches. Great suggestions! I was stymied by where to go next, if anywhere, with the image. Now I think it's worth a bit more time before throwing in the paint brush.

Mary Paquet said...

Peggy, thanks so much for giving me some feedback. I will try some compositional sketches. Great suggestions! I was stymied by where to go next, if anywhere, with the image. Now I think it's worth a bit more time before throwing in the paint brush.