I recently posted a photo of my painting of my model with gumballs on facebook, and then realized that it was not the finished painting, so I am posting the finished painting here. (Although I am going to do a little more work on the lower back.)
As a side note, I just read an article in the Artist's Magazine (Sept. 2012) www.artistsmagazine.com, titled: Back to the Garden. It talks about nude versus naked, and interviews Juliette Aristides, Anthony Ryder, Sharon Sprung, Costa Vavagiakis and Mary Beth McKenzie. These artists are all exceptional figurative painters, but what interested me most was their thoughts on the "model as muse". Because I have been painting Harmony for so long, I can totally relate to what they are saying. (This is my latest photo of the painting, and it is a little shiny on hair, upper right....will rephotograph.)
Aristides says: "The idea of a muse encapsulates a real phenomenon: meeting someone who captures your imagination. A particular model can physically complete an artist's thoughts and give clothing to an idea--it's a real collaboration and not something you can set out to make happen."
Sharon Sprung says she feels fortunate that she can work with the same model over time. "It's woman painting woman; the model feels safe," she says. "The picture is a portrait of me, as well as the model."
Then Costa Vavagiakis, goes even further by saying; "There's a level of detail that's developed over time. A model makes a commitment. "It becomes symbiotic," he says. "You (the artist) are a vessel, and she's a vessel. There's a receiving back and forth." He also says: "Nothing presents the human presence as much as the gaze back."