This is a classical theme explored by a lot of great artists. It tells the story of the Greek myth that lead to the Trojan war. Paris got roped into judging a beauty contest between the goddesses. I forget all the details, but one goddess offered him wealth if he named her the most beautiful. Then another goddess offered him wisdom. Then Venus offered him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world and he gave her the apple which was the prize. It happened that the most beautiful woman, Helen, was married to a king and she ran off with Paris. They made war over it. The gods and goddesses were all playing around with the mortals and taking sides in the war which made it much worse.
I’d also like to illustrate this story some day. If I could paint it I’d like to have three little girls having a tea party under a weeping cherry tree. They’re playing dress up and all wearing sheets wrapped like togas with wreaths of flowers in their hair. One girl could have her favorite books on the table with her hand on them. Another girl could have her jewelry box open and holding up some sparkly gems. The girl playing Venus would be holding her toga up which is falling down and reaching out for the apple. Paris could be leaning against the tree.
I had Chinese food the other day and my fortune cookie said “Your best work is yet to come.” This judgement of Paris inspiration has been in the back of my mind for so many years. I think I can do it. I just need some young models.
Meanwhile, I’ll keep practicing with other drawing and painting projects. I’m still healthy, there’s no hurry. I’ll do it before I die.
As I was standing in front of the mirror in my bathroom to work on this, I turned it around to look at the reflection. That’s an old way to check if your drawing is working, look at the reflection then you can see your mistakes better. I thought it kind of looks like me as I was working, but when I turned it around to see it in the mirror I thought, oh no. It looks like a primitive. Well, portraiture ain’t easy and I’ll try again some time. I have to keep challenging myself to do the difficult projects or I’ll never improve. Can’t say I’m afraid of failure, I can’t tell if it’s working or not anyway.
I wanted to make myself look younger. In real life I’m not trying to hide my age. I understand people that do, though. I’ll never get plastic surgery. I might not draw all the wrinkles.
Once I saw an art show where the artist wanted to make women feel better about their self images. She got a bunch of her friends drunk for nude photo shoots for her paintings. The models hid their faces from the camera with their hair or hats, or the photo was from the back. Then she enlarged the figures to around 8′ and painted them in acrylic with the scars, fat folds and skin blemishes in tight detail. The paintings were imposing larger than life. They were in your face “feminism”, I guess. I didn’t enjoy looking at them. When I was in art school we’d have got mocked out of town by our teachers if we painted scars or skin problems. Fat was ok. The only female model that was dependable was obese.
I was thinking how ironic it was that the obese model from long ago was ok nude without getting drunk first but the models for the woman self image empowerment project hid their faces after drinking wine. As for me personally, my clothes don’t come off. hahahah but I wondered if the women’s lib feel good about your body no matter what project actually did make anyone feel better. It made me feel bad for the models. I couldn’t look. And I consider myself to be a liberated woman. So for my self portrait, I’d like to make myself look better than real life. I don’t know if I was successful.
About my bucket list, I’m glad I didn’t wait till my hair is totally gray to do this. And I live at Virginia Beach, which today is suffering, including me when I think about the murders, but I think it’s mainly a fun place where people aren’t too surprised to see blue hair.
The other things on my bucket list are going to happen too because they’re all reasonable goals. Then if I have some warning before I die, I can say, yeah, I did that. It was fun.