The world through my eyes.
March 2014 I’m sure some of you will recognize this piece as a rendition of Henri Matisse’s ‘Portrait of Madame Matisse’ (The Green Stripe). I choose to extend the background to show what Matisse might have ‘seen’ and painted had he done the same amount of background. This work is not done in paint like the original, but in Oil Pastels (first time using them) and I actually completed this piece on a train ride(!) to Ottawa. If you’ve ever worked with Oil Pastels before, you’ll know that they’re, for lack of a better word, crumbly when used (like the eraser bits that are all over the place after erasing something) and smudge horrendously if you try to wipe them away. Because of this, I needed something to protect the art from smudging, and the rest of my luggage from being smudged on, so I asked the train attendant if he had any wax paper. He looked very confused and I explained my dilemma. He piped up “No I don’t have any wax paper on board but I do believe there are large enough napkins up front” so I followed him to get some napkins. The group I was traveling with continues to find this story amusing and is a source of laughter every so often.
I made the background not only full of contrasting colours but also of contrasting directions. This ensures the eye keeps moving from one thing to another and there isn’t a sense of repetition. Another ‘trick’ I used to keep the eye moving were the triangles of colour (blues and pinks) because once the eye hits one it automatically finds objects of the same colour. All that contrast has to be evened out by something so I didn’t stress about all the white spots because of the unity it creates. I loved working with oil pastels and this is one of my favourite pieces in the series.
Others in the series: