Beauty is a strange thing. If I’d ask 10 people what are the prettiest creatures in their opinion I bet dogs and cats would be on the list. Horses and even a giraffe. But for me it is a tiny little Amazonian creature, the Red-eyed Tree Frog. Why? Well, it’s not only its delicate frame and the tiny little smile (or is it a smirk?) that it carries, but its colors. Have you seen its colors? That incredible red eye and the vivid green skin. Every time I see it my heart leaps in delight. OK, maybe there is a tiny bit of favoritism involved in the ranking, because I love (adore) these two colors.
Talking about this green color, it was one of the reasons I jumped so wholeheartedly into this collaboration project: I could not wait to use the green, my green color. OK, you can incorporate it into the foliage here and there in a landscape, or if you are drawing fruits that are not yet ripe, but not so much into a portrait. Unless you are painting Shrek, of course. But here, here I felt I had free reins because of the cabbage.
The cabbage seems such a small, trivial little detail in the whole scheme of things. I mean, if you think about the title of the painting, Saint Anne with savoy cabbage and a power drill or the hopelessness of the dead window, one of the last things I’d dwell on is the cabbage. There is more than enough to think about with the philosophical dilemma of the window and how on earth would a woman (let alone a saint) get hold of a power drill before Christ. So you see my point, the cabbage sort of gets lost in the way.
But that is exactly why I decided to give it the chance of a lifetime. The spotlight it deserves. Or rather… I wanted the cabbage to be the spotlight itself. Come alive and radiate a strange glow. One that will cast a surreal shadow. And what could be more surreal than a shadow that is not really a shadow, rather the complete opposite!
That is why I decided to have this projected green, cabbage-like glow emanating from the vegetable. And not only projecting on the wall, but bathing Saint Anne with its color (so much about my theory about Shrek). And one of the ideas I had was to use this negative shadow as the way to signal that we are dealing with a saint here. That is where the halo comes into play.
I have lots of ideas how to make that halo stand out, sparkle even. I am not sure though that it is a good idea to add it now. It will be a much better idea to finish the rest of the painting first to make sure there is balance in the lights and darks, the glow and the shadows. I mean the final touches should be final touches, otherwise it will overshadow the entire painting. And that would have given too much fuel to a little cabbage’s ego.