I have written a bit about the Two Brides before, first focussing on the element of painting a figurative portrait with the aid of photography and latterly to discuss the concept of failure as a creative practitioner. This time, however, the piece is no longer a work in progress: I have indeed finished my first portrait of persons in nearly seven years.
If you are a regular reader of my wee blog or you found yourself here via Instagram, I imagine you to be pretty familiar with Two Brides already. I sketched out the foundations for this artwork in January 2019 and having moved house and struggled with achieving what I considered a good enough likeness, I worked on it in little bits until I was happy with the costumes, background and, of course, the identifying features of the faces and hands of my two subjects. This one is a fairly classical composition, drawing heavily on the look of the 1930’s studio photography this piece was directly drawn from. Inspired loosely by the drawing Three Brides by Jan Toorop, a Dutch-Javanese symbolist, and the zeitgeist of the period between the two world wars, Two Brides was an interesting piece to execute from start to finish.
I feel any deeper analysis of my own work would be pure hubris, so this is where I will leave you, with my favourite work-in-progress shots of this painting and a promise to get back to you soon with news of new work!
P.S. Oh yes, and here’s a wee bonus: Seems like the Snapchat genderswap-filter does work on paintings too! I hope you find these as funny as I do…