Thursday, August 5, 2010

She Waits

Several weeks ago I set out to create a piece for the Uniquely Fredericksburg show. I thought I was going to do a horizontal piece with three of these windows. However, the piece had other plans.

I laid down several layers of background paint, and when I looked at the picture vertically, I could see the form of a woman, so I decided to use water-soluble pastels to sketch in her head and neck. Once I got that in, I could see there would only be room for one window, with a lot of blank space at the bottom. I decided that the woman was waiting for her husband to come home from war. I sifted through some old family letters and came across one that told of a father dying in a civil war hospital. It said that he was buried a few weeks before the family knew he had died.

The next day, I went to the Confederate Cemetery on Amelia Street to take some photos. Then, for the next three nights, I pushed and pulled and struggled with the piece. I kept telling myself that I didn't need to make this deadline; there would be other shows.

I put a man inside the window, and realized it wasn't working for me. The panes in the window cut his face up in a strange way. Plus, the man was gone... he wouldn't be looking out the window. The family would be looking for him. I quit working on the piece.

Two days later, at an estate sale,  I found  a photo of a girl. On a whim, I put her behind the window, and
she fit perfectly. By this time it was the night before the deadline.
While I was rummaging in my studio for a tool, I found a second photo. The woman in the photo looked to me like the woman I had painted. The piece was completed and I hadn't missed the deadline. I got up early the next morning to hammer the frame pieces onto the finished piece.

Tonight, at the Uniquely Fredericksburg Show, She Waits won a second place ribbon in the mixed media category.

6 comments:

ariel freeman said...

Congratulations! Compelling and beautifully done.

Jill said...

Very cool!!!!!

Elizabeth said...

Oh I'm doing the HAppy Dance for you big time!!! fabulous piece!!! SO well deserved!!! huge congrats!!!!!

Terry Pitzel said...

Is the is the piece that won at Uniquely Fredericksburg!! Wow it is sooo nice. Congratulations!!

Anonymous said...

That is just fantastic Leslie!! Congratulations.....Janet

Incipient Wings said...

Congratulations!
this is fantastic. love your blog!