by Yvonne Callaway
More than 20 years ago I painted a (poor) portrait of my mother and her friend, Sheila, exiting the back door by the yellow bug light. Two of my mum’s Lhasas figured in the painting too. The painting hung in her home but something wasn’t right with her face and bugged me every time I saw it.
Four years later I “borrowed” the painting and redid my mother’s face. Sheila and the dogs were fine, but the maternal portrait . . . not so much. The photo below shows the painting suffered many beginner’s flaws: perspective, placement, colour — heck, poor drawing!
The painting recently came back to me. I still didn’t like it and decided to salvage the frame but gesso over the painting. The framing was rather elaborate and took an expert to dismantle. While maneuvering the 36 x 24 inch work into the car I realized, again, I really liked the moodiness of Sheila’s character in the work.
So I decided to salvage that part. The framer and I worked out the correct surgical cuts.
It is still a primitive piece but captures the contrast of light and dark, angled architecture and soft woman. It talks to me on this third edit.
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