Ok, here is my last entry for this challenge.
I really enjoy the re-do of paintings from the past - it tickles the imagination. So I selected a painting that I really do NOT like.
This is a very iconic painting in America. It's call American Gothic,
painted by artist Grant Wood in 1930. (I cheated a little on this one, since it's less than 100 years old.)
The "Gothic" comes from the window style, which is called "carpenter's gothic" back in the day. Wood saw the house in the midwestern USA state of Iowa, and imagined what sort of people might live there.
My aversion to this painting is not the artistry, but rather how Wood presents his subjects. The woman is standing behind the man, submissively. She does not engage the viewer but rather, averts her eyes. She wears a puckered, worried, unhappy expression. I find it disturbing. The man, however, is quite aggressively staring right at the viewer. He grips his manly tool - a pitchfork, so he's likely a farmer - and doesn't appear happy, either, or even particularly pleasant. The posture and the stare are a bit disconcerting to me.
So I wanted to up-end Wood's vision of this American couple. My modern take made it important to me to depict a person of color - in this case, the woman. She is standing next to her guy, not quite in as assertive a posture as the so-called "Superman pose," but certainly confident and relaxed - not at all like this other subject. The man is also holding an outdoor tool - but just a little old rake.
As usual, I like my idea but don't really have the artistic chops to realize it completely.
So, rather than attempt Wood's upper body portraits, I opted for smaller faces to avoid having to do detailed portraits. Both subjects are standing outside the (nowadays) ubiquitous American superstore, WalMart. They are just gigantic warehouses of inexpensive household goods, no real architecture involved.
Here's the final painting on 9x12" Arches oil paper. The usual blend of Mungyo soft, Neopastels, Senns, and a few CP Specialists.
A few wips:
I used a quick grid to get the proportion of the Walmart sign above the heads.
Sketched in the figures with soft pastel pencils before moving in with OP:
Adding more color:
This was a fun challenge for me! Thanks again to Sarah for hosting this for us. Thanks to Christel for leaving the thread on the main page while I hurried to get it done.