A Skull?

Susanna Wright and Secretary skull

I always talk about how my paintings change overtime, but sometimes those changes can happen a long time after I ‘finish’ the work. It’s very important to know when to stop on a painting, but oil paintings are always able to be edited and changed. The edit I made today was taking out what was a major element of my Susanna Wright and Deborah Norris Logan painting, the skull in the center of the table. The composition of the painting was like a wagon wheel, with the skull serving as the hub. The skull was also making a strong statement by itself and could be seen as what renaissance artist called a ‘memento mori’ or ‘reminder of death’ a object like a skull that served as a reminder of the importance of the afterlife.  While touching up the painting I thought that the skull was a little bit too prominent due to its position, so I started darkening it. While doing that it occurred to me that the skull and its message was not necessary to the rest of the work – so I removed it! I’m quite pleased with the result, as it brings a lot more visual focus to Susanna and Deborah and frees up the general atmosphere.

Susanna Wright and Secretary no skull

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