Side project – Not-a-Matisse #2

Looking at the previous version and thinking of Amelie Matisse’s life – which included doing prison time for being a member of the Resistance in the 1940s – I couldn’t help thinking that she was another underestimated woman who, in today’s world, would have been a little more front and centre. The green stripe shouted ‘Ziggy’ and, it seemed to me to be fair game for subversion. I cut a piece of duck cotton to A2 size to make scaling up from A4 a little easier. Nevertheless, she seems to have mumps, or mump as only one side of her face is a little wider than it should be. It may be possible to fix this, we’ll see.

This is the underpainting – washes of dilute acrylic on pre-primed (three coats of dilute white gesso) canvas. I should have seen the over-wide cheekbone at this point.


But I didn’t so here she is in bold colours with the beginnings of the Ziggy flash in place. I’d thought to keep this small but I may expand it so it doesn’t get lost in all the colours. She looks quite bolshy now, and I’ve deliberately departed from the original to give her a harder stare. Maybe she needs ear buds too.


23rd July. Proto earbuds and a developing flash. Also rather more sculptured eyebrows (thank you DM for reminding me of those things) although I am stopping short of improbable eyelashes, I don’t think she’s the lash-batting type. Now I’m wondering if the flash is irrelevant; it is a little out of its time next to the 21st century earbuds and eyebrows. I think it will have to go.


Shaped eyebrows, no flash, and some black conte contouring to the earbuds. I hope she’d have liked it.

Ms Matisse 2020. After ‘Green Stripe’ – Henri Matisse’s 1905 portrait of his wife Amelie.


Background removed in Paintshop Pro.


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