This painting was a flippin’ mess. I started out with a bunch of crazy, abstract swaths, none of which tied together. So I sat with it for a while. And then I started to see a dress. I knew I needed to fill in the woman. But there was a problem: she was leaving the room.
So I let her leave. After giving her form and highlights, it seemed the lighting was a bit “Toulouse Lautrec.” Once I had that thought – that French thought – the phrase was inevitable.
I don’t imagine this woman to be Marie Antoinette. She’s not a showgirl, either. She’s just a French chick, making her way out of frame, living her life.
And honestly, I love her.