Impressionist portrait of a young woman in a red silk gown by Oregon contemporary portrait artist Talya Johnson.
Behind the Canvas
I was so drawn to this model's strength, to the line of her red silk gown, her beautiful dancer's hands fiddling with peacock feathers that were part of the set-up. I simplified the colors to bring all the attention to the colors red and gold. It was a challenging painting to complete--outside of my comfort zone both in style and content.
To me, red has always symbolized both strength and mortality. It symbolizes the earth, the ground from which were created and which we will return to. Gold is my color for divinity, perfection, or high value. It's also a color of power. The circular patterns, "s" curves, and repeating shapes in the composition and placement of the flowers were all set to lead the viewers eyes, and cement the eternal nature of my subject. I attempted to point out, that no matter how divine our eternal natures, this mortal life will slip through all of our fingers. Yet, the divinity within each of will remain.
As the bloom and dreams of our youth fade, let us remember that common mortal and divine thread that knits us to one another, and to our Maker.