Her clothes are only partially painted in and require much more work before I’ll be happy. The idea is that she’s risen from her bed early in the morning and pulled the coverlet around her before stepping outside. A dense enclosure of interlacing branches rears up to make this a private garden. But no matter how high a wall of leaves may be, it can’t keep out what has come plummeting from above.
At every stage adjustments have to be made. I may yet soften the massed patterning of leaves and branches. Perhaps I’ll put a few grazing sheep on the distant hills rising to the upper edge of the painting, and some low mounds of rock plants in the mid-ground just behind her spread mantle. The painting evolves and becomes dense with shape and patterning, darkness and light, colour and tone. It’s a balancing act.
There remains much be done. I haven’t even started the sunflowers that it’s always been my intention to bank around her. And the question remains whether to embroider the mantle/coverlet with birds and plants, modelled on a beautiful Indian marriage quilt given to us by our friend William Gibbs.
The clock ticks. I have another week to finish this. Then four or five days to complete Tobias and the Angel. No panic yet. Everything seems to be moving along the way it should.