A Passive Upbraiding


thebraidlg copy

Oil on Linen with Gold Leaf 16″ x 20″


Beginning 1 & 2

Hair: meaningful in so many traditions and cultures.  The way that we wear it may be a statement, a passive rebellion, an identifier, an obsession, a tabu or even a code.  It’s a point of pride and a worry, and it’s oh so personal.  It’s meaningful to me and so much fun to paint.  That’s why I wish I had kept this piece simpler, as in the early stages (directly above).  I may go back and make a drawing or an alla prima of this composition in the near future.

Published by elenacaravela

My world is a wonder of visual candy and foreboding shadow shapes vying every waking moment for my full attention.

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  1. Sorry I haven’t been over here for so long. I lost track of you.
    I like all these pieces, but the final one speaks to me the most so I for one am not sorry that you didn’t keep it simple. Lovely, powerful, evocative.

  2. Each stage of this work is stunning!
    The meaning does change as the work changes and it’s so interesting to see that happen. The light, shadow and tones are breathtaking! Wow.

    1. You’ve given me a little too much credit, Uday. My search for the principals of light is often a hit or miss journey. But, I’m trying. I’m honored, because you indeed have the light principal in your back pocket. Thank you so very, very much:)

  3. I wish I didn’t have to gush on a blog but in real life, so you’d see how much I meant it..! 🙂 It’s funny, before I had read your words I first saw the large picture and was completely in love with it, it’s just so rich and reverent, and the colours are spectacular – I scrolled down though and was amazed at the early sketch – it’s like the essence of the main distilled.. so powerful, both! So interesting, it’s often the same all over, how you go all along a road only to arrive back at the beginning!

  4. The final piece is stunning. But I too like the simpler forms, and I agree it may be worth re-visiting – especially because you feel inspired to do so. It’s a powerful image.

    It’s interesting how as artists we feel the mission of what we are creating, and sometimes, though others admire the piece, we feel dissatisfied – like it’s unfinished or didn’t capture the essence of that mission. I’ve gone back to images many times and either redone them or retouched the original, and without fail the final piece was even more well received by others too.

  5. I understand exactly what you mean, Elena. The charcoal is just perfect and -to me- complete, yet each stage, to the final piece is also wonderfully done and well, perfect! I’m so glad you kept record of those stages…

  6. Beautiful Elena – her face is angelic and elegant. The gold leaf sets about a bit of sparkle or rather warmth with her skin. I know what you mean about the hair, but in this case there is a story coming from your canvas – I would leave this piece as perfect as it is. An amazing portrait.

  7. Once again, your lighting work is exceptional. Her face really comes off the screen — it has a third dimensional feel. I like seeing the earlier versions. It’s fun to see a bit of the process.

    1. Jeff, I’m unable to leave a comment on your new beautifully formatted site. Just wanted to say that I love the new “being alone” series. Gorgeous. Thanks for your lovely comment.

  8. Oh my! Spectacular on so many fronts.

    My friend, have you ever seen the film, The Best Offer? It’s set inside the fine art world, and the main protagonist (an auctioneer) has a “special room” hidden away in his home where he hangs all his master female portraits. For that scene alone it’s worth watching.

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