My nephew, Jonathan, stayed with a group of Masai a couple of years ago, taking some wonderful photos while he was there. Trying to capture the elegance and beauty of these Masai women with a paint brush was very challenging. Glazes of transparent watercolor have been painted over layers of pieces of masking tape, which was finally removed. I was really pleased with the looks of the red checked cloth on the second woman from the left as well as the plaid on the back of the woman looking away from us. I'm posting my first attempt here with the finished painting below it --- with a darkened and simplified background.

"POWER SURGE" - as it was completed in Novemebr of '06

I think the freshness in the painting got lost in the painting below. What do you think? It's so easy for me to over-tweak a painting and suddenly loose the vitality and energy that makes a painting really sing. I'll have to try this one again and remember to put the brush down before I loose my emotional connection to the work.

"POWER SURGE" on Arches HP 140# 30 x 22" and Detail of Power Surge - below showing the textural effects the taping process allows.


Lynne Kasey said...

I think that I prefer the first rendition of the Masai.
I love the color saturation in the clothing, and the detail in the women faces...

RH Carpenter said...

I agree, the first painting has the freshness and the clean look the second lost. I would definitely do this one again because it's a great composition and "story" in a painting.

Anonymous said...

The school just had their annual variety show fundraiser for the Tanzania project and it brought me back to look at your painting. I am glad you have posted it. I do like the first one a bit better, though both convey different feelings.