All in the Stars?

I feel like a jelly that’s been sat on 😉

I’ve been a bit poorly this week and so haven’t got on with my commission as I should. It has been sitting drying for quite a while. It’s a good job there is no hurry. My client is in the throes of constructing the nursery in which my figure will sit and hasn’t got as far as she would like either…. must be something in the stars!

Here is a horoscope for Aquarius today….

“Oh dear. Things have been a bit slow lately.Perhaps you feel that you haven’t done as well as you ought to have done. It is, though, hard to imagine how anyone else could have done better had they faced the same circumstances. Working through complicated problems and long lists of jobs is as easy for you today as slicing a hot knife through butter. { I wouldn’t say it’s quite that yet…} Your concentration span is impressive, and your mind is bright and alert. ( Mmm is it ever? } You also know that if the conventional route doesn’t work, you have plenty of lateral thinking ideas up your sleeve too. All power to you, Aquarius. You know how to get the job done”

Well….doesn’t that make you feel a bit better 😉

You will remember, Teresa Thompson very kindly let me “borrow” her dolls for a dummy board of a Governess and her charge, as I couldn’t find anything which was good enough as a reference.

Here are her dolls.I have had to crop the photo, as my client didn’t want all four children. It would have made it quite a wide figure too and the board I paint on would have had to be joined. As it is, it only just fits.

Now we have prepared the board, transferred the design and the painted in the outline.

Just the beginning.

The Governess is quite young in Teresa’s doll. I am going to make mine a bit older.

Here is the first layer of paint.

The first paint layer and the board stuck to the painting slope.

Teresa took as her model, the painting by Hogarth, of the Graham children.

William Hogarth. The Graham Children. The Tate gallery. London.

So we can do the same and use the picture as an aid, to faces and dress.In addition I shall use the face of an 18th century dummy board girl, from Sweden, for my governess.

Incidentally, do you remember we were talking about a dummy board which was holding a bunch of cherries? This was in The Girl in the Red Dress .

One child is holding up cherries in this picture. The youngest one, sat in a kind of cart, seems to be fascinated by them and isn’t looking at the bird in the cage or at the viewer.

Cherries, as we said, are often a symbol of death in infancy. The eldest child here isn’t the deceased child, but the smallest one is. He died whilst this picture was being painted, hence the symbolism of the cherries. We must remember infant mortality was high in the 18th century.Sad.

I’ve said it before on this blog…but it’s amazing what we learn when we seriously make a study of something……about  other things, I mean. Subjects additional to those we have chosen to study that is.  Quite by accident. I wonder if that too is in the stars? 😉

So here is what we have so far.

The Governess and little Lord..somebody. Miniature about 3 1/2 by 5 inches

Three layers of paint and the detail is emerging and the realistic depth of the characters. More to go on of course and then the final details.

Sorry this is a short post…. hopefully the words will flow from the pen ( or keyboard in modern parlance ) next week when I am feeling better.


6 Responses to “All in the Stars?”

  1. Sandra Says:

    Sorry to hear you’re feeling poorly….

    Hope you feel much better soon.
    Sandra x

    PS – SD sends DD a lick’n’sniff

  2. pastmastery Says:

    Thanks Sandra. Sorry to hear about your nasties too. What shame. I hate to see things that have stood the test of time go poof! Hope they WILL renovate the pier.

    Dd sends licks and leaps back. She has been very good…up and down the stairs with honey and lemon drinks, tucking us both in ( S has had it too), doing the ironing and taking in parcels! Well…why keep a dog and bark yourself!! 😉

    S& DD

  3. zenia Says:

    Hope you are on the mend. 🙂
    I didn’t realize cherries in paintings symbolized death in infancy. Wow! You learn something new each day. Are there other objects which symbolize other meanings in paintings?
    Love Zenia xx

  4. pastmastery Says:

    Yep…def on the med now Zenia!

    Yes there are lots of things that are symbolic in paintings. See you tomorrow and I’ll let you know a few.It’s fascinating.

  5. Louise Says:

    I hope you will be better soon.

    I love reading your blogs.

    Best wishes,

  6. pastmastery Says:

    Thanks Louise. I do try to make it interesting and informative but fun too.

    I’m definitely on the mend now. Proper flu takes a while to get over but with the help of echinacea and paracetamol we are getting thru it!.

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