|The Levine School Suzuki Flute Ensemble performs at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, VA; the soloist is my daughter!; the seated girl in the front row on the far left is the model|
I saw this five-year-old musician at a performance of the Levine School Suzuki Flute Ensemble back in April. I was mesmerized by her innocent beauty and just had to paint her (with her mother's permission, of course, although it is not a commission). Boy, it was a tough task! I had started the painting in May, worked on it for three sessions, then left it sitting on the display easel for two months.
Do you know why? I was intimidated by what I had done so far and didn't want to ruin it. I know it sounds silly, but it happens all the time. The fear of failure grips us artists at times, and we don't know how to battle it.
Eventually, I had enough of my timidity. I decided that the face was good enough, although it was not exactly her (the girl is a lot prettier than my painting). She has also that worried look, which the photo doesn't. I let my self-criticism go and focused on the rest of the painting: the background, white blouse, wonderfully braided hair, and flute, which was a lot.
The girl's skin tone had hints of purples, mauves, and greens, so I worked those colors into the background, blouse, and even hair. The burnt umber ground that had made everything look dirty receded. Suddenly, Khloe came alive! I am glad I saw the painting to conclusion. Now I can get on with my life.
By the way, did you notice that my blog now has more than 20,000 views? When I started blogging two years ago, there was only one person who read it regularly, i. e., myself. Now every post seems to get about 200 views. As they say, if you build it, they will come. Thank you, my loyal readers!