I have been experimenting all summer with gold and silver leaf, and here is the first finished painting where I have incorporated both silver and gold leaf into the background (silver) and the small details (gold). Many people have thought the background is gold, due to the "golden glow" that is reflected in the silver. I have even noticed a kind of halo effect around her head.....that I love!
Also this summer I have been trying to keep true to myself, and come up with ideas for paintings that could become my one person show next year in San Francisco. There are so many influences out there, and while I want to be "culturally relevant", and "current", it is really difficult to paint for yourself, when you also need to please your gallery and sell some art.
Having said that, I finally reached my breaking point, by trying to please everyone, and moved forward with some ideas that have been percolating for years. I decided I need to paint my ideas when they hit me, and not wait for 3 years, and then the idea is not relevant any more, and already feels dated.....so I don't paint it.
The art world moves at a very fast pace, and I recently read: "an artist is always ahead of his time....until his work starts to sell". No one wants to paint to sell, but it is very scary to tread on new ground, and wonder what the world will think when you change direction a little. (Some people are still upset that I am painting figures and not still life.)
I think as an artist I already have a style that is my own, and as far as a "brand" goes, I would say I paint beautiful women in front of beautiful backgrounds.....maybe people can identify a "Suzy Smith" painting when they see one....I can only hope that is the case.
This painting; "Ice Queen" is with my new model: Amy, and I have many more paintings of her planned. The Crown she is wearing, I made with cake icing tips, because I thought they were a wonderful addition, that could be used in the future with some cake painting backgrounds. The "ruff" collar adds a little whimsy, and perhaps with the silver, brings a kind of "fantastical" element to the painting..