Struggling with a reluctant clasp on a necklace is something that every woman will be familiar with. My wife was fiddling with the clasp on her necklace one evening and I had a searing charismatic impression of a figure standing still with neck stretched and hands raised across the body. The next morning I dashed down a little sketch on a scrap of paper and almost immediately went to work on canvas. As usual, there was no model or other physical objects present as props to work from.
I struggled with maintaining elements from the real context and what the painting would accept. The standing figure was the focus and I did not want a distraction from that so I divided the canvas into three equal vertical zones. I move the window filled with green light coming off the plants outside should be behind the figure so that it interacted with the orange cardigan. There was a white Lloyd Loom chair in the corner and a dressing table to the left of the figure which I suppressed but still referenced. Getting the texture of the chair without it becoming a study of the chair was a major challenge eventually resolved by toning it back into the grey I had used for the two “wall” stripes either side of the “window”. I inserted a pink canister shape into the left hand stripe in order to stop it just running straight down to the bottom edge - it needed an incident.
The colour of the face was dictated by the green and orange close to it.
The Clasp Original Painting
90 X 60 cm | Oil on canvas