Sunday, March 20, 2011

Beggar Woman

The idea for Beggar Woman came from a chance encounter while walking down a busy street in Paris. Strolling along, my attention was drawn to a elderly woman holding out her cup. No one else on the street paid her any attention. Passersby just walked by as we all often do when confronted with the uncomfortable issue of begging. I am of course accustomed to running across downtrodden men looking for a handout, but somehow this sad, old curmudgeon struck me. She probably was someone's mother and grandmother. Imaging her spending her golden years begging on a Paris street touched my heart.

This chance encounter spawned a series of paintings based on the theme of "my" beggar woman. I changed the medium, the composition, or the view with each painting. In the first painting shown above, I worked in oils, a medium new to me, but one that feels enjoyable as I apply it to the canvas. In the second painting I used a mixed medium initially applying an under layer of black and white gesso followed by watercolor, acrylic and oil pastel crayon. In the third painting, I applied water color gouache on a very smooth illustration board. Painting in a series provides me a method for developing my theme and fine tuning my ideas as well as honing my techniques. This series is still in process.

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