“Scegli la Gioia”

Pencil, pastel, and watercolor

November 2020 (NFS)

It’s past midnight here, and here’s the portrait I laid aside yesterday afternoon to reconsider (I never seem able to know when a thing is finished, or at least as good as it will ever get). In this case, I don’t think anything could be supposedly improved upon by adding some more “painterly” touches, etcetera; the subjects are sufficient. The title is taken from a letter written on Christmas Eve, 1513, from/by Fra Giovanni Giocondo to the Countess Allagio Aldobrandeschi. The subjects are the granddaughters (identical/mirror twins, need I say?) of a client-become-pal (typical for my business, I’m glad to say) of mine. I’ve been looking forward, over the past, anxiety-ridden two weeks  to settling my tail down  and just painting this joyful, simple portrait. When their grandmother sent me the originating photograph, all I could think was “Those two little girls look as joyful as two of my puppies”. And, yes…… a paraphrase of one section of Giocondo’s letter would be (appropriately enough for ALL of us in these days):   “The gloom of this world is but a shadow. Yet, and within our reach, if you could but see it, is joy. I beseech of you… choose Joy”.