Friday, February 14, 2014

First in Series

"The Mirror Image" by Hilary J. England
Oil on canvas 18" x 24" x 2", 2014
Here is the first painting in my series, "Transitions."   This painting is an extension of the "Rural American Youth" series in a way, in that many of the "players" in that series are continued into this series, but there are new focuses as well, and this series is rooted in change rather than in observations.

This painting, "The Mirror Image" revolves around Madeleine.  I saw the changes she went through after the sudden death of her young father, and how she struggled, and it sort of "diminished" her.  I could see her shrinking inside of herself, and suddenly, in a moment, she went from naive to wise, in the flash of that moment, it was visible.  I had never seen such a tangible moment in another human being, as if someone had literally lifted a veil from her eyes, and what she saw was horrifying.  It was lighting off a bomb, I saw the explosion, and then instantly felt the repercussions, and lastly, could plainly view the damage.

I watched as she struggled to process the enormity of everything, how a portion of her childhood was left in tatters, and the flashes of sadness and anger as she looked to blame but didn't know how, so ultimately, she began to blame herself, which seems to be weakness that comes so naturally to children, as they mostly lack the viciousness to blame others, or put the sadness where it belongs.

I painted her in her best dress, to show the feebleness of her situation, how brave she is, yet how little and lost.  I painted this in a dramatic light, to show how the situation was suddenly there, like spotlights in a prison break, yet she will come through it, eventually.

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