One of my favorite places in Venice is the Guggenheim museum. I spent hours there, exploring Peggy Guggenheim's home and completely lost track of time standing in front of Modigliani's portrait of Frank Haviland. I have always appreciated Modigliani's work, but only fully grasped the true depth of texture and color by seeing it in person. Peggy was the former wife of painter, Max Ernst, and entertained many now famous artists in her home. When I sat on her original white leather sofa and imagined all the artists who might have sat in the very same spot, I cried.
I returned from Venice feeling inspired by its history, grace and charm. I began to paint curvy abstract nudes, influenced by the gentle flow of the canal, the arched bridges and quite frankly...the ridiculously beautiful women Venice seems to be filled with! It only seemed fitting that the women in this collection be graced with Italian names as a reflection of my experience there. This piece, tentatively called Ilaria, has been sitting in a box in my studio, half finished for I don't know how long. It's the only piece in the collection I used collage on, which might be the reason I got stuck and wasn't sure what direction I wanted to take her next. With fresh eyes, I began working on her again and as it turns out, she was nearly done when I packed her away. I only added another layer over the collage, making it a little more subtle.
What do you think? Do you like the name Ilaria or do you have a different suggestion? Is she perfect just the way she is or would you like to see me make the collage a bit more subtle?