I often come back to the same models when I think about a new painting. (Not the birds. I always choose new birds.) After quite some time spent manipulating images of people and places, putting them together, pulling them apart, the composition settled down. Allison and Hannah (who have never been in my paintings together before now) became my muses.
This one began with a snapshot of party tents my sister took on the beach in Provincetown, MA. I loved the light, which is always incredible on the end of the Cape. I started by painting the sky a deep dark red, which I think will give it depth and luminosity once I overlay it with the lighter colors.
I wanted to make the Hannah figure more like an apparition. I attended a gala with a circus theme and found her costume on a stilt-walker. Then I gave her a seagull to hold.
So this was the original pencil sketch on linen tacked to the wall, before I began painting. The finished painting will be about 6 feet wide.