The Color Master

As most of you know, I'm a pretty die-hard fan of watercolors, but that's not to say I don't enjoy experimenting with new mediums from time to time.  Sometimes that choice is voluntary, other times, such as when one is in school, that choice is not.  And despite the frustrations of trying to blindly find your way around a new medium, I believe that, in the end, it helps to further one's development as an artist.  Sometimes that development just means that you're very cranky for a while as you struggle to get your paintings to turn out as something other than colorful glob-monsters.  

One of my final courses for my master's degree was a narrative painting class, and in order to replicate the look (and suffering?) of the great narrative painters, we had to work in oils.  For my project, I chose to illustrate Aimee Bender's short story "The Color Master" from the anthology My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me  (which, incidentally, is a fantastic collection).  This is the part in the story where the Color Master's apprentice works to put anger in the dress so that the princess will not marry her father.  The emotion is so strong in the story, and the women's anger so compelling that I couldn't help but paint it. 


I really haven't worked in oils since high school, so I had a lot of learning to do, especially since oil techniques are nearly opposite of watercolor techniques.  Especially when you're working on a giant 36x48" canvas (okay, well, giant for me who prefers to work pretty small).  In the end, there's still a lot I would like to fix/improve on with this painting, but sometimes, you just have to be done and stop swearing at your canvas.