The Pink Dress

Pink Dress.jpeg

This incredibly over the top dark pink dress, studded with roses of many different shades of pink, surrounded by shoes and mischievously emphasized by a pair of bright  red boots glowed from a storefront in a medieval mountain town in Italy. I stopped, awestruck, and thought what a fantastic painting it would make. That was the beginning. The idea grew on me…not only of painting this wonderfully outrageous dress, but of doing a series of such delectable window displays as were to be found in Italy. Oh the ice cream shops and bakeries, wonderful tie stores, boots and bags not to mention chocolates, great wheels of cheese and huge wedges of nougat all being shown with such flare in the store windows. Such gorgeous displays were a wonderful delight to the senses. The project would be an ode to independent small shops with their creative ingenuity.
     The idea remained vibrantly present when I returned to my home and studio in Utah. As a plein air pastel artist for decades, this is a huge departure from the work I usually do. I didn’t know if I could do it, either…to make a five foot drawing/painting from a quick cell phone photo, not to mention with oil paint, which I haven’t used in around twenty years. I was hoping my many years of observing and painting from life would help.
 Before embarking on  the task of stretching a large canvas and buying brushes and paint, I decided to make a full size preliminary pastel and bought a roll of gray photographic backdrop paper, not acid free, but it’s BIG. I covered a 40” x 60” piece of foam board with the paper and began to draw.

pinkdress 1.jpeg

I love love love drawing big; there’s such a freedom to it, and it’s almost impossible to do landscape paintings outside that big.It was  a new experience for me to be able to draw for as long as I wanted, irregardless of the time. Plein air painting is very time specific, light and shadow changing by the minute.I don’t think I’ve ever drawn so many roses in my life!
Pink dress day 2.jpeg              Pink dress day 3#.jpeg
It was so much fun and I realized, yes! I could do this.It was fun to play around too with the shapes and colors of all the shoes. if you look closely you’ll see the changes.
Pink dress day 4.jpeg         pink dress day 5.jpeg
There are still things that I would change were this the end product, certain combinations of shapes and juxtapositions…but for a start, it fills me with pleasure. I open the studio door and it shouts a joyful greeting to me.
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6 thoughts on “The Pink Dress

  1. Hooray Scotty! I love The Pink Dress.
    Your plein air work here in the Southwest is so fine. Now, as a New Mexico dweller, it resonates with me because of all the visual treasures we have in this unique locale.
    So different from the bright and colorful light and sights of Greece, where I first loved your painting. I was not able to have one of your paintings that I yearned for in Xania, but every day we enjoy your Greek mythology prints that hang over our bed in Santa Fe.
    I hope you’ll continue with this vibrant, free-wheeling work – it sounds like play! Ah, whatever brings you joy.
    In your travels this time, did you visit with our friends Peter and Jerry in Xania? And Karen Olsen and any of the gang who still have the pleasure of struggling happily in Greece?
    I cherish the 21 years I spent there. Life in the US has its advantages, other than certain political uncertainties……..
    Let me know if you still have any of your Greek paintings available for purchase. An old dream might come true for me.
    Very best to you and your Muse, always.
    Most sincerely,
    Ann Hunter (was appended with “Daskalakis” in Crete)

    1. Ann hi. No I didn’t get to Chania this last time…but spent a week in Athens to see my stepdaughters.Time flies!

  2. Richard Clegg

    Marvelous! Fanciful! Welcome to a new world, Scotty. HAVE FUN!!!

  3. Elizabeth Carsrud

    Scotty, l love this! What fun the color is, the different subject matter, and approach. I too loved looking in the creatively decorated shop windows on our morning walks in Italy. Your article brought back a lot of pleasant and wonderful memories. Beth Carsrud

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