A tranquil moment of complete repose. Who could guess that this is one of the most stressful paintings I’ve ever done! There are so many different elements – the texture of the skin, the silk, the hair, the feeling of the warmth and the shade and the merest breath of summer air – each part so dependent upon the whole, yet so isolated by colour and technique. And overall, the preservation of the white while working all around it with dread dark and staining colours.
When I finished I went to sleep and dreamed that I was paralyzed. I haven’t felt that much stress since first year midterms. Yet all turned out well. Valerie is safely framed and has made her debut at the Peace Watercolour Society Fall Show 2014 in Beaverlodge Alberta.
And Valerie herself? The little flower girl is all grown up and has begun her first year of university, where I wish her every success – especially with her midterms.
P.S. People have asked whether I used masking fluid in this painting. I did, on the baby’s breath and beads in her hair and also for the sun-soaked curls. To apply the fluid in such a fine line, I took a snippet of my own hair, dipped it in mask, and curled it into place.