FALLBROOK – Jack Ragland recently came across a painting of his 10-year-old wife, Marilee, which he started as a demonstration painting for an art association workshop but never finished.
He said he didn’t like the original paint very much, so he decided to repaint it, making many changes to it. As they were returning from a trip to Italy, he decided to set it up in romantic Venice with San Marcos in the background and a gondola coming from the Grand Canal. This time, he posed her in the sun with her hat shading her eyes and, he said, “with her big legs in open-toed heels that were obscured by a table in the first version.”
He continued: “I painted the legs from three different angles before I got the look I wanted. I put her arm on a small table and put a mirror on it to reflect her bracelets and the little glass of water. water that reflected the orange-red in her dress.” He also painted her hands and arms several times before offering the cup of espresso she was holding in her lap.
He had it silhouetted against the clear creamy sky which made it look very washed out, he said. So he decided to add the dark background on the left to bring out the reds and oranges. He also obscured the architecture in the background to focus on the silhouette and even put lots of rings on her hands, which she rarely wears, to contrast with the soft material of the dress.
Ragland also explained that the turquoise cover of the gondola was the perfect complement to add pizzazz to the warm colors; “I used to paint things as they appear. Now I paint things as I would like them to be. It was fun to breathe new life into an old work and make us feel both 10 years younger.”
Ragland submitted his wife’s 40″ x 30″ oil painting to the Temecula Valley Art League competition on Feb. 8. The work received the People’s Choice award as well as Judge’s Best in Show.
Submitted by Jack Ragland.