Sisters... or they were sisters

stlukesguild

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This one underwent some drastic changes and ended up with me walking away. After all, the French poet Paul Valéry famously suggested, "A work of art is never completed, only abandoned," or such is the simplified translation into English. I began this painting thinking of Danny Galieote, a painter I admire whose work is rooted in the imagery of American art and film photography and advertising of the first half of the 20th century...

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I was also looking at some of the American artists of that period including Thomas Hart Benton, George Tooker, Reginald Marsh...

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... and Paul Cadmus:

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Like Galieote's painting and that of Marsh I was thinking of making a painting of girls in their swimwear. My first attempt at the theme had a couple of Rubenesque girls eating ice cream cones entitled "Soft Serve". :rolleyes: That one turned out so miserable I won't ever show it. I began this painting with the same theme: a couple of girls together with the one on the left eating a popsicle. I kept playing the Talking Heads' song of the same name.

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I started out shooting for the brighter colors akin to what I had used in "The Great American Pin Ups".

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I quickly changed my mind in terms of color. (This is actually after 2 or 3 other color combinations).

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By this point I was thinking of a splitting between a cool blue/green top and a warm red bottom. But I didn't like that... so the whole thing went blue and I was done... except for the popsicle...

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...or so I thought...
 
I liked the handling of the flesh tones and the colors and textures in the pastels...

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But then I didn't get into the studio for a number of weeks as I was spending time on the beach in the Outer Banks for our older daughter's wedding and then looking for a couple of dogs after the death of Guenivere, who was with us some 15 years. When I came back... I suddenly decided I didn't like the face on the girl on the left... and then I didn't like the face on the girl on the right...

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And after 5 or 10 horrible faces... I decided I just didn't like the entire figure on the right...

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And this is where I left it... abandoned it...?

At the same time I was working on the start of a new painting... something I never do... work on more than one painting at a time. As I became engaged with that new painting I simply couldn't imagine doing anything more to this one that once had a working title of "Sisters". I've never come up with an actual title for this one? Any ideas. :unsure:
 
It's good with or without the the figure on the right. Maybe you were overthinking it?
 
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