The large indoor market in Porto, Portugal is a strong mix of the smell of fish, fruit and flowers and the sounds of laboring and laughter. The three women featured in Gossip Break were perfect subject matter to capture the experience that day.
I started with bright colors for the underpainting, which I knew would disappear as I worked, and blocked in the shapes of the composition. In subsequent stages, I developed the darker colors to indicate the indoor setting and gave the skin a pale olive tone. Unfortunately, this diminished value changes that make a work interesting, so I created light coming in from behind the hanging meat.
The box labels and price list above the women were blown up from the original photograph on the printer, transferred onto skins of gel medium and then collaged into place.
Can’t you almost hear the women talking. Perhaps about a daughter who ran off with a man they don’t like, or that woman in the flower stalls who thinks she’s so superior. The image is universal, one with which we all can identify.