Three Actresses (Toi Toi Toi!)
Skip Hill ©2014 16'w x 24"h Acrylic, crayon, charcoal, inks on canvas
"Looking at the Three of them...backstage in their dressing room, still nervous and excited after two weeks of performing their challenging roles before enthusiastic audiences. They hug each night before the curtain rises-
kissing, caressing, congratulating and wishing each other "Toi, Toi, Toi" for good luck.
Day 2 into the process on this latest painting. Moving to canvas, after weeks of drawing on smooth vellum paper, is an adjustment as I work out the composition and color relationships on the textured surface. I create a sense of "movement and moment" again by creating shifting perspectives and light sources. At this point I like the flower bomb of color at the upper center of the frame, with lots of white space and simple lines as a counterweight. Technically, I love the "push pull" effect of abstracting the three figures into one and back again.
The stylized faces of the actresses are more developed at this stage in the process. The time spent just looking at a work-in-progress is vital to understanding what I have done and how I proceed. After about twenty minutes of studying and reading my marks, lines and smears, a hint of the Dia de Los Muertos 'calaveras' mask appeared,and then a suggestion of Madam Matisse's famous 'Green stripe"portrait from 1905...and then I see where I can place a tiara on the crown of the central figure ala Valasquez's court portraits. The warm and affectionate woman on the right wears what could be a mask from Java, Bali or perhaps tribal face paint from the Surma people of Ethiopia.
aaah...Back to the Studio...