When I first saw the Maiden in Contemplation online I was really taken by its softness and stillness. I did not know anything about the artist, Gaston la Touche (1854 – 1913) and must admit I still don’t. Sometimes I don’t feel the need to dive into research. Sometimes a picture is more than enough.
The Shawl, oil on linen, 48×24”, 2014
The Blonde Lace shawl used for my painting.
Gaston la Touché, Maiden in contemplation, 1893
And often enough I paint my own paintings without much thought for the concept. I just follow my gut and head for beauty and my mind is only taken up with aesthetic considerations such as colour and composition. In this case I stayed obviously close to my inspirational source for the design. I used a Spanish Blonde lace, a continuous silk lace very popular in the early 19th century. For my painting I wanted to focus all attention on the material, the transparency and the shine. I therefore left the girl’s face and hat a bit underworked. It contrasts with the high detail of the lace shawl. I left the girl’s arm and short blue sleeve of her tshirt, slightly visible nder the lace to highlight the thin nature of the fabric. I tried to maintain the beautiful stillness of the La Touche piece into my own painting. It is a large painting, at 48×24”.
Detail of the The Shawl