I knew I wanted to paint the Arch of Titus before we ever got to Rome this summer. I remember being struck by it on our honeymoon, eighteen years ago and when I remember an object that long, it simply must be painted. But eighteen years ago, things were simpler. Eighteen years ago in September my husband and I felt as if we were alone in the forum. We walked under the arch and touched the carved stone. This summer in July the forum was mobbed and the arch was surrounded by a wrought iron fence.
The painting I had in mind, featured tourists walking through the arch. Obviously, that painting, no longer reflects reality. So instead, I shot the arch looking up from below, avoiding the ugly iron fence. This turned out to be a challenge. I like the striking steep upward angle, but perspective is difficult to pull off. The fact that that exterior of the arch is a light blue marble and the interior a warm yellow orange didn’t help as it made the shadowed underside warmer in color than the cool exterior. But more difficult yet, the upward angle exposes intricately carvings covering the interior ceiling of the arch.
I began painting the arch and quit four times, each time simplifying the arch a little more. The second to last attempt I used to demonstrate painting at the fair. The result is good, but it didn’t have quite the oomph I was looking for.
So I simplified even further and poured the painting. (For a description of pouring click here). The result is more richly colored and much more graphic.
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