I had to sit with this one a while in my studio before deciding if it was finished. I thought it was until I photographed and looked at it on my monitor. I noticed a few more things that needed to be tweaked. This is a great way to analyze a painting from a different perspective. After a few more hours of noodling I think it is finally finished.
This new painting is the second painting I've done that was inspired by a photo I took in the Passy area of Paris. When I’m wondering around shooting reference photos I’m often struck by something that speaks to me as a strong interesting design. It could be what I’m observing has a very graphic quality, or a cast shadow on an object that creates an interesting pattern. When I came across this gate with a stained glass window juxtaposed behind it, I knew I would eventually paint it.
First, I was immediately attracted to the design of the gate. I thought I might change the composition completely and paint something else in the background. However, the more I studied the photo the angel image in the stained glass started to speak to me as well. I modified the position of the image and the gate from the photo to create a better composition. I also like how the lighter values in the painting are in the background. Painting a stained glass window, something that is more graphic, made me paint a bit tighter than I normally paint, which was a nice challenge. I also incorporated metal leaf in the halo on the angel. If you look at the work in progress photos you can see where I intended for it to be but didn't add it until I put on the finishing touches.
Like Paris Passy Gate, this reminds me of the time I lived in Paris and a fond friend that lived near this gate.