I started this painting with the idea of using the colors green and cream. And depicting a woman at a table. That’s all.
I carried the wood panel from the garage, put it down on the large outdoor table, and started to sketch the table, the woman. A simple outline, but my eyes zoomed to one corner, followed the edges of another figure, and I set to tracing the personage waiting there, fully existent and cleary defined. I drew my pencil over the head and torso, fingers and hands, an annotation, or more a reminder to myself, or a fear that turning away I would lose it, the character off to some netherland, a character in search of an artist.
And so, my mythological muscular figure is firmly in place, cast in lines drawn by a pencil, no more than faint lines tying down such a powerful figure.
The gentleman on the left, he entered from the wings, in fact, unannounced. Mr Mythos has come and gone in a number of paintings, is indeed a member of an ongoing series entitled The Afterlife of Romans – I say ongoing now, only at his insistance, but the gentleman? I know not where from he comes, nor to what purpose, but now that you are here, let’s make use of him.
Stand there, which is where he was in the first place.
The large portrait in what is a painting in a painting in, possibly, a painting, eyed me bashfully from behind the wall I had already built, that is, drawn.
And who am I to say: no, go away.
Oh, he or she might have gone down the stairs, stairs not so much an afterthought as a prime necessity even in my own daily life; always make sure you can go, leave the party, run, hide, even it’s just by holding up a book, and finding succour.
So, the stairs had to be there – and maybe with all these people, and who knows how many more were hiding behind the curtains, walls and panels waiting to, I don’t know, make their requests which may or may not be amicable.
With such a grand staircase, another picture frame was an obvious aesthetic choice, child’s play, but it required content.
Voilà! A new piece by Seymour Snowe, especially commissioned for the occasion. Thank you.
After I poured myself a cup of tea, and stood ready to begin, in jumps our little painter. A bald guy, barechested, not unlike me, for I shaved my skull for years, but my hair, albeit short, has long grown back, and I wear my usual autumn beard, so it is not me, but another imp of a man who has leaped centerstage. And, I suspect, is showing off for our Mona Lisa.
Or maybe he is her toy boy, as is the gentleman who, on looking closer at his hands’ expression, appears to be directing or conducting – what, his own farce? With no one paying attention, not even the very clear object of his desire.
And Mythos, what is he raging about? Clenched fists, and bone-breaking strength, and unrequited love, a terrible mix! And jealous, too. I have no idea why he is upset and I am not going to stay to ask, in case he finds me guilty of being, well, guilty.
One thing I do know, though, is I am going to descend those stairs, and invite you to entertain, ugh, explain the Private Study of Mr and Mona Lisa to our friends, while I go search for the artist.