Thursday, May 24, 2012


Unaji the nape of a woman’s neck, sensual in Japanese culture. Inspired by this I am creating a series of portraits centered on the subtle appeal of the curve of a woman’s neck. More seductive than the obvious, soft, long, fragrant and elegant…it is a place where secrets are secluded gracefully under the warmth of a woman’s hair.

Mizoreru sono unaji e mesu o sa sasei

Your nape

where melted snow falls -

let me burst it with a scalpel.

Ippekiro Nakatsuka

 Utamaro Kitagawa 1750-1806 Beauty in front of the Mirror 

In traditional Japanese culture the nape of the neck is one of the acceptable exposed areas of the Geisha.

I began the series with a portrait in oil titled “Girl with a Corset” which I am painting using a traditional Flemish technique that includes adding mid tones and light tones of under painting and layers to give life and dimension to the overall effect. It is a seven layer process and does require some patience. I plan to mix it up a little bit with my own style also adding texture and mix media…

 "Girl with a Corset" Portrait in oil 58"x37" (under painting stage 2 & 3 - Umbra layer) oil on canvas

My painting “Tahiti Femme avec Fleur”  is also a mixed media piece using black tea which I boil down to a dense consistency then thin with water to the desired color. With the use of water colors I use a technique of layering and staining to create a multi dimensional effect. It was the first time I used water color on linen which I love but found difficult at first to work with. 

Both of these pieces are still in progress…

work in progress - “Tahiti Femme avec Fleur” 32" x 43" watercolor and tea on linen