I remember the lesson in speaking about an artwork that seemingly has no meaning. Begin with what you know about the piece. Start with the obvious stuff like describing the physical properties of the artwork. The dialogue might begin with its dimensions or materials and whether or not it is framed. This method is similar to a first introduction to someone whom you’ve never met before. Following an initial introduction, more insightful aspects begin to reveal themselves.
Sometimes, making art is similar. The motivation to start something may be quite large or even perhaps unknown. If this is the case, then a deliberate crossing of the threshold must be made for something to begin. A brush mark, placed anywhere, initiates and introduces the obvious framework of the construction of forms. This the “what”, and is in this case, the head of a young woman.
As the process of making the “what” continues, the sense of the idea, as mysterious or out of reach it seems to be, also begins to articulate itself. This is the part that connects with something far more compelling than a simple rendering. Now, the translation of the subject starts to communicate a mood as the artwork then, hopefully, takes on the curious properties that compel us not only analytically but also emotionally.
Note: This painting was made while referencing an earlier study done with a professional studio model, the incomparable Toni Czechorosky, who posed for it. I sincerely appreciated the time working with her.