Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ophelia / Boat Shoulders

40" x 40" oil & ink on birch panel

Ophelia. Name derived from Greek οφελος (ophelos) meaning "help". Her name also belongs to Hamlet's lover who eventually went insane and drowned herself. However, the similarities end there; this Ophelia will not meet the same fate as Hamlet's lover. The sea dare not drown her, she's one who would drown the sea. She posed for me once. Phantom trade winds made her hair dance gently around her eyes, caressing the sails on the boats that rest delicately on her shoulders. The air cooled as it passed over her skin, carrying aromas of salt sweetened by the sea flowers that grow in her wake. Perhaps she would suffocate without these ghostly sea winds, without the salty air to sustain her. 
Then there are her eyes. Those two left eyes. Oh, how they hardly blinked, how one remained locked upon my gaze. Her delicate tattoos serve as a futile warning, if you can read them, you are already too close. 
She grew impatient and I could feel the unease in her, how the earth felt unstable beneath her feet. Some would call her a prisoner to the sea, though a wiser man would know the sea as her prisoner.   

As usual, I first primed the exposed wood with GAC 100, did about three coats this time. I prefer to paint directly on to the wood, as it makes blending colors easier, but having the outside portions primed makes it forgiving should any unwanted paint get on the wood (living with a kitten is sometimes dangerous). Detail was done in various colors of ink.

 Tattoos drawn with black watercolor pencil. 

"Ad infinitum"(Latin) 
"to infinity without end"
"y de que nadie oyera las canciones de navegantes que a veces cantaba bajo las estrellas"
"and that no one should hear the songs that sailors sometimes sang beneath the stars"
From Gabriel García Márquez's short story Un Señor Muy Viejo Cona Alas Enormes (An Old Man With Enourmous Wings) 
(Thanks to my lovely Morgita for her vast knowledge of romantic poetry)


above is the framed drawing of the original "Boat Shoulders". The blueprints for this piece. 
messy tubes of oil paint, little bottles of oil medium and a box of hooks, nails and screws.

Hope you like her, she'll be on exhibit in January for my solo show at Vessel. 
Prints coming soon.



esste said...

she's stunning. So gentle and stong woman in one body.
I would say it once again, I love how you paint the skin, so natural.
I really admire your art :)

Anonymous said...

Unrelated, but I love the way you have your brushes/palette knives/ scissors organized.

The painting is nice too. :)

Jane said...

Gorgeous. Love the backstory, brings her to life.

kendal said...


J ª L º N said...

Este, aparte de estar muy precioso!! una maravilla a la vista! Son de aplaudir todos los detalles, y la frase en castellano preciosa tambien...:)

Annie said...

Incredible! So gorgeous and provocative. And you didn't go overboard with the hair!

Cassandra Dias said...

She's amazing! Wonderful work!

charmaine olivia said...

haha, no Annie, I didn't this time ;)

Sanne said...

She is just amazing!

Jess said...

I absolutely & completely ADORE it. Your talent is endless and the words are so beautiful...

We Blog Artists said...'s been a while since I found SUCH talent.Your work is amazing. Makes me want to cringe at mine...or perhaps just work harder...I feel quite naive in my work.
Anway...hope you are ok with me coming back...and mentioning your brilliance on our Blog.
HUGS and cheers!

ashley said...

im in love with this. i already have boat shoulders and i think i need this too <3

Unknown said...

absolutely gorgeous!

gomebigge. said...

buen recurso el crudo de la madera de fondo.

Ishara said...

I like this. I absolutely & completely ADORE it .I feel quite naive in my work.
la made clothes

Shannon said...

How are you able to blend the skin so well? Every time I try painting on wood I am unable to blend it like I do on canvas. Thanks!

Anonymous said...


I would like to buy this from you.
Name your price please.

Thank you.

Unknown said...

I have this print beautifully framed and hanging in my home. It is my favorite piece. I absolutely loved what you wrote and enjoyed seeing the original in it’s natural habitat.
Thank you for her ♥️

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