Marcella in a Golden Landscape
When I first began working with Marci, I suggested that someday we should paint a picture in the Pre-Raphaelite style. My first thought was that she would make a magnificent dead Ophelia. Then she cut her hair, and when I recovered from the shock I considered recasting her as Joan of Arc. But as we could not find a petite suit of armor, and because she did not wish to be burned at the stake, that idea also led nowhere.
I don’t believe we’ll be painting any proper Pre-Raphaelite pictures, but this one contains some of the same elements:
First, there is a beautiful redhead. She appears to be smiling, and the Pre-Raphaelites always preferred their ladies to be miserable; but let’s overlook this minor flaw. It is impossible to make much sense of the lady’s clothing (she’s wearing boots, but you’re not supposed to know that) so we can place her in almost any historical period. Let’s make her a Renaissance lady.
Although it lacks a pseudo-mythological setting, it does feature a weird and complicated landscape, albeit one cloaked in mist and shadow. A true Pre-Raphaelite would have labored for ages over each individual leaf and flower, thereby amazing the public and working himself into an early grave. No, thanks.
Finally, the picture suggests an element of the divine, supernatural or otherwise fantastic. What is this dreamy place, and what is in that darkness? An angel? A demon? A witch? Perhaps a dragon? The empty blackness calls for an additional figure. In fact, I almost added one. Fortunately I came to my senses (this doesn’t happen often) and left the mystery intact. If someone or something else is present, they have no interest in us.
The palette here was borrowed from Leonardo da Vinci. I’ve borrowed a lot of things from Leonardo, but usually they don’t work as well for me.