Tatiana and Olga 2010

Tatiana and Olga  2010

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Changing Perspective

The photo I'm using for my painting of the Tsar and Alexis  has the Tsar in a  3/4quaters pose. After awhile  his image insisted on a straight forward facial portrait
Any artist or author will tell you there are times when the creation  will have its way and not behave as one wants

Okay , but  I planned to keep the 3/4  quarters facing  body  and bring the two together.

I like to paint the Romanov  photo as it is . But bringing  these two view points together   is a  difficult task and  an added  problem  was the original photo is so fuzzy. 

The Tsar's  left shoulder has little or no information and it's the trickiest part . I think that's what has stumped me. I also think whoever took the photo was sitting down as the pair seem to be looking down into the camera. Well the painting was having none of that either

On top of this was the amazingly complex right sleeve....again , fuzzy 

I went ahead and painted. I painted and  I painted and painted .  And because I'm  bull headed, I painted a  sleeve and tunic for 10 months, of the year and a half I have been painting this picture

After 10 months  I finally got that sleeve.  But the tunic has defeated me

So I'm now turning the Tsar's body straight forward too...but I'm keeping that sleeve,  by God

There are so many CLEAR photos of Nicolas  where he's facing straight on, it will be a joy to paint using them!

This will be an unusual Romanov  painting has it will not be of  one photo only, but a combination.  It's been tough, but I've learned so much and really I feel worse for those who have been waiting for this picture ! 

However as soon as I started painting the body straight on as well, things have gotten much better

         Bronte Novel Update

The Bronte Novel marches on. I have written a great deal and a good  deal is still  ahead. I look forward to blending the different parts together 

 I have taken  a photo of some of the note books I have filled as I write it. I write long hand and then type it into the computer . 

 I find I write  the way   Emily  Bronte wrote " Wuthering Heights ".
.... at least according to Martha Brown

Many's the time that I have seen Miss Emily put down the tally iron as she was ironing the clothes to scribble something on a piece of paper . Whatever she was doing ironing or baking she had her pencil and paper by her I know now that she was then writing Wuthering Heights 

I  too have a folder of  just scrapes of paper with notes, some are sales slips and backs of envelops ! Whatever ever is at hand will do . I also keep on hand  lined  note books  for " beam ins"  as I call them.

A scene will uncoil in my mind and one has to get it down then and there. Something imperative will be lost if one waits .Indeed it can't wait . Very often  a scene will start  with perhaps  one line of dialog and build  from there. I'm writing every day and enjoying it greatly

My church history research goes on...remarkably hard to track down, but vital to the story

I hop from one part of the history to another.  I'm also learning the usefulness of flash back to add to a scene . Not surprisingly  while wring a Bronte novel , there is a good amount of crying as I write  ...but there is alot of laughing too.

 I'm also thoroughly enjoying using Victorian language. It seems flowery, but it is a  very exact language . One has to listen to what is being said, but if you do, you'll  know just what the other person meant . It's fun to use

Okay back to work!


  1. Nice to see the photograph of your writing work!!! Can i use it for my weblog? And also nice to know how the process is going. I wish you a lot of luck with your painting and writing. XXX Geri

    1. Thank you Geri!

      Certainly. Thank you for asking. You are kind to pay it such notice . I'm keeping a lid on the actual novel until it's near completion .

      Thanks for stopping by and for your fine Bronte blog and for the luck! :)

  2. Thanks for the update Annie. I guess I never took into consideration how tricky it is for an artist such as yourself to get things down in perfect detail when the image is obscured in such a way.

    Side question, do you find that writing about the Bronte's while painting (and just generally thinking about) the Romanovs compliments each other or is the pursuit of one made more difficult by the other? I don't just mean in terms of time - as obviously for every minute in a day you're painting is one less you could be writing - but just in terms of the focus and emotion connectivity is concerned.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Erik!

      Because I'm untrained, I rely heavily on following the photo. This photo would be tough enough if clear because of the odd angel, ....but fuzzy too?

      Everything must hook up and make sense when one paints it. When we look at something , our eye can skip over stuff...but not when one paints

      Mostly the problem came about because the Tsar's facial portrait insisted on being straight on...( by which I mean everything worked better when I did that )

      Once that changed, I should have followed suit with the rest of the figure , but I had to learn that the hard way.

      Being self taught, you don't do less work learning. it's just done in a different way .

      I will say the picture has improved greatly since I adapted and now it feels like the painting it wanted to be from the start.

      As to the emotions of the two groups...it's like two different TV stations . One switches from one to the other . They don't impede each other, but I do see points of common ground...socially sequestered families who greatly look to each other, and of course the tragedy part of the two stories .

      Lately I have realized a shared captivity theme, in that the young Bronte's wrote stories about captivity a great deal and about Republican and Royal forces battling each other ...of course the Romanovs lived that.

      Fasinating how I can't stop writing about the Brontes , but can't see myself writing about the Romanovs for the long haul....their sphere for me is visual

      Thanks again!