My working title for this painting became “Prima Donna” as in lead ballerina, from very early on in the process. It was as if this particular pose was made just for this model, and brought out an undeniable star quality. Anothor title that played in my mind as I neared completion that I thought too long but said so much more was “Smile, Because Above Us All the Sun Still Shines.” The pose in this painting is about light and everything good that comes from it.
Drawing attention to the light would require an excessive amount of light throughout the painting, which would also bring an abundance of color. To avoid color dominating everything, and instead focus on the light to help bring out that dreamy and almost ethereal potential of what I had in mind, I had to avoid any heavy saturation of color while still paying close attention to never go entirely monochromatic. Holding on to the light was essential to what I wanted to achieve with this piece, and was constantly on my mind while working on it.
Being outside in the sun makes me a happier person, the light and warmth feels good and seems to recharge as if being the very source of life itself. Light is a positive force to most everything living and makes it all even more beautiful. Soaking in the light is a marvelous feeeling that most people can relate to, and that’s the feeling I wanted to share. The scene here was already overflowing with light but beyond adding more light, I wanted to make the whole painting more about light.
The figure itself is about light, stretching, lifted in mood as well as body–all while absorbing the deep warmth of the sun. This is a good day and the sun makes it easier to relax and enjoy. It’s is really about that feeling of being just you and the sun, no disruptions or distractions, no obstructions in enough light and warmth, that alone the thought of it brings warmth on a cold winter’s day.