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DIVA WITH ANIMAL EFFIGY

By Robert Ranieri, 2018

 

 

I watch as the animal effigy turns into view.
Soon, brushstrokes of color determine a fresh result.

My painting had begun to unfold. These and following comments
reveal in part, my painting process.

Forced to surrender to some unexpected results,
I remain in a state of anticipation. Thinly painted areas
now go through several structural changes for a time,
while early signs of progress are brushed aside when  
more dominant aspects of painted shape emerge.

Devoted to this process, a skirmish of apposing impulses
may endure periodically while the decisive configuration
"foments rebellion in the theatre wings."

I relish the rebellion. Complexities and contradictions abound.
It is fun to see that certain roadblocks can be overcome with
fresh assaults on the canvas or wood panel.
So many actions taken. Zones of color may drive a wedge
between once secure initiatives.

Surprise! Even among long familiar and very personal archetypes,
to be able to accept a fresh image that wants to emerge,
is always a pleasure.

The Diva with Effigy painting image configured rather quickly.
It will be noted that the woman's torso is very thinly painted.
Not so with the animal, developed through several crucial
changes. One notices that much of the effects of transparency
are achieved when a thinly brushed fragile gray tone is painted
with the utmost restraint over the initial red oxide color that
underlies the Diva torso.
Subsequent details of the lingerie are achieved with a direct
drawing of fringe, adroitly laid out with an economy of means.

Though the animal image was kept in mind throughout, it took
necessarily several adjustments in the profiling of the animal
to achieve a desired overlapping of forms to create just the
exact layering. Two back profiles appear while layers of cast
shadows in sliding articulation hollow out the bottom area to
serve further the sculpted effect as the animal assumes
its dramatic alignment. Indeed the burnished gold animal
appears to solidify like gold plated bronze sculpture.

 Important moves remained. Final cleanly delivered
vertical strokes of gray as transparent cloth receiving light,
had to be added over the female torso, and a near vertical
scrim of orange when painted over the supine animal contains
this effigy.

With hindsight I remembered the Flemish Unicorn Tapestry
series, where a marble white unicorn is seen corralled
within a white fence on a 'thousand flower' carpet.
Within my painting, not only is the animal effigy contained
by an orange scrim, but the area of the head is held by a large
helmeted shape. A very strategic black outline of this head
has been developed to connect the two sloping back profiles,
but seems also to be imbedded within the painting while at
the same time its large shape torques itself into a threatening
animal roar, the culmination of the entire painting.


 

 

 

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LAR