Artist statement - Thanksgiving
At first glance, the viewer may imagine that this image was contrived simply to show off the model’s leg. In fact, a lot of planning went into the composition and execution of the piece.
The feeling I wanted to evoke was something akin to sympathy, perhaps pity, for the woman. The bare leg is incidental, instilling the feeling that the model is unaware of the viewer. She is captured in a private moment of reflection, perhaps assessing the harvest in her basket.
I would classify this image as falling in the category of sentimental imagery. The humble fabrics, the harvested grapes, the woven basket all have intrinsic sentimental value. All of these items work together to cast the mind to a simpler time in the past. I wanted to create and capture a rustic scene. I sought to put it at no specific time or place but somewhere different in a time somewhere in the past.
The artistic composition I used was the classic S-curve. The viewer’s eye can travel easily from the poised foot, up the leg, crossing the rumpled skirts using the pathway of the smooth forearm like a bridge. Then the eye travels up the model’s curved back, across her face, through the waves of hair down into the basket in the lap. The combination of contrasting textures makes the journey interesting for the eye: The smooth skin, the crumpled linen, the wavy locks of hair, the pebble-like fruit.
Lighting is always important. In this image, the light is hard, coming from behind the model to provide drama. The shadow on the shoulder is echoed in the shadow on the cheek and that shape is, in turn, echoed in the darkness of the curve of the top of the head.
The model’s downward gaze at the basket is echoed by the waves of hair that seem to flow from the top of her head into the basket; also, the strap of the dress that is pulled downward on the model’s shoulder provides a visual arrow, also pointing directly into the basket.
So in the end, this image is about nostalgic feelings and remembering times of old: times which, although filled with hardship, were also filled with emotional connection.
As far as a COVID connection, in 2020, the holiday season took on poignant meaning and caused fresh introspection. Even returning home with a a completed grocery list was reason to celebrate.
Captured Friday, December 18, 2020
This image is available in different media. Contact the studio for purchase details.
Part of the series “In the Time of COVID” on display at Koger Center for the Arts April 3-August 13, 2021