Little Maria Painting

I'm having so much fun lately in my studio. Between painting and writing and sunshine and even laundry, something has just clicked and I feel as though I've hit my stride. Really, this could just the giddy side of myself speaking that is just so thrilled it seems winter is behind us. Whatever it is...I'm going with it.

I've had a little project take flight over the past two days and I thought I'd share. One of the sweet young women I know got the lead role in her school's production of West Side Story. Yup, she's Maria. How fun is that? I happened to have an old script book from the play lying around that was partially destroyed and instead of tossing it I salvaged some pages and used them as a collage background for a painting.

It's strange how we feel pulled to do things. I worried about what her sister, or other young women would think about me giving her a painting and not them. In the end, I hope they're cool with it, because I know this is something I'm supposed to do. It really has taken very little effort on my part, in fact it all just fell into place, simply. So, here is what the base looked like:

Then I added a thin wash of ochre and sienna brown to the paper to add some age and color. Then I drew in a girl and started painting her clothes and skin.
Stupidly, I painted her eyes blue. Both the Maria in the movie and the young woman I'm doing this for have brown eyes...something I corrected. Though she looks pretty good with those big blue peepers.

There you go...brown eyes look more authentic. I used the kitchen sink of materials in this project: Gel medium, acrylic paints, distress ink, chalking cream, crayon, charcoal, and more. Here's the finished project...
It really is just a tiny little 8 x 10 canvas, but I hope she enjoys it and it is a reminder of her experience as Maria.

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