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Difficult doves

26 Apr 2008 / in about art, natural world

My employer asked me to paint an image of a dove suitable for a christmas card for this year’s charity sales range. As a painter of birds this shouldn’t be too difficult. But it really is! Deeply embedded into my psyche is ‘dove image = christian god’ that everything I paint seems to Goddy. My ‘inner cynic’ tells me this must be The Lord working in mysterious ways through my paintbrushes. My ‘inner realist’ tells me that I have looked at too many renaissance paintings and the dove symbolism is burned into my brain.

I painted a dove card a couple of years ago. This one:

I liked it very much. Still do.

But this time I wanted to paint a more realistic dove, not just a dove shape. And I think this is the problem. My first attempt is here:

It’s OK and I love those colours and the dove but it feels so goddamn Goddy! My brief was to used lots of yellow and oranges, but against a white dove I felt it would come out too popish and catholic. *shudder*

I tried it again, but without the Christmas paraphernalia running up each side:

Still too Goddy!

So I thought I’d go back to basics, and harking back to Picasso’s famous dove, got out a thick marker pen and produced this in seconds:

I like this one much the best, but will my employer? What do you think?

This is a demo store for testing purposes — no orders shall be fulfilled.