A heavy thunderstorm in November that kept me awake for a night, inspired me to paint these 2 paintings. They belong together (diptych) and are for sale. It reminded me of the Doors song, “Riders on the Storm” (June 1971). Although Morrison must have given it a more existential meaning than the one I give it here. To me they are (Ghost) Riders in the sky (A North American cowboy legend, see Wikipedia or the Northern European version: Wild Hunt (also called Wilde Heir) see this Wikipedia page. Since then I can’t get the song out of my head.
Today a total different painting than Floripes was. It was already quite a time ago that I painted a portrait.
I started on an old painting that I didn’t want to keep. I putted a few colours over it and then a blueish kind of grey with also a pinch of yellow in it.
Then I made the drawing of the face. It is a rather rough drawing, not detailed, just to place the eyes and mouth. I used a very vague photo. Using a vague photograph is sometimes an advantage, unless the painting really has to resemble someone. With a vague photograph there is more possibility to fill in your own ideas. It gives more freedom.
After the drawing I started to fill in the dark parts. Also roughly and quick. It doesn’t have to resemble in this stage.
Then I gave it some colour and also painted the highlights.
Filling in all the open spaces and making some corrections. After that I blended the colours as much as I could. It’s not that easy with acrylic paint, but after putting in a light grey layer, it looked OK with me.
Then comes the final step and the most exciting part. Making everything to work. Look where the painting needs more accents and where it needs more blending. And the most important: give the portret the feeling you want it to have.
Now it has become a somewhat misty and dreamy portrait.
15-05-2020 Update – I was not completely satisfied and made today some big altarations: (click here to see the bigger version)
In the Algarve there are a lot of legends. Most of them from the time of the Moorish occupation.
One legend is still alive: Floripes, legend of Olhão. Floripes was a beautiful Moorish woman who was left behind when the Moorish were expelled from the Algarve. Also her fiance fled away without taking her with him. But he came back to pick her up. Unfortunately his boat cracked on a rock and he drowned. From that time Floripes was enchanted.
Inhabitants of Olhão can still tell the story and some of them even still believe in the legend.
You can read the whole story (in Dutch) on a website named Portugal Portal: https://www.portugalportal.nl/floripes/ Here you will find also a link to a film from 2006 about the legend of Floripes (in Portuguese).
It was a brain breaker to me deciding how to paint this legend. The sky and the sea were the easy parts and just the décor of what the story tells.
More than 2 months this story was in my head. Made some prestudies of it, but couldn’t get it to a whole. Finally I decided to paint Floripes in a glass box because of the belief (or is it fear?) of the fishermen, from which they can’t free themselves: the anxiety to die on the sea. But also Floripes herself is captured in her enchanted state. She also can’t free herself of the curse.
I hope you will enjoy this painting and the legend of fear and hope. Thea Booijink
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