Nefertiti 31 x 23 inches, 1986
One of the few paintings I have saved for myself, this early portrait of Nefertiti has been hanging behind my bedroom/studio door for more than twenty years. I painted it almost two years before I had my first art show in 1988, and it was the results from this effort that spurred to work full time as an artist with the idea of being a selling professional. After finishing it, I deluded myself into thinking I kinda, sorta had something here. Perhaps I was wrong: this piece was eventually offered for sale, but there were no takers. Only years later, after I decided not to sell it, was there any interest in it.
The painting was executed with my early technique. I mixed tempera paints in coke bottle caps and when they dried I reliquified the paint to a thick consistency with saliva and applied it with flexible plastic styluses made from whipped cream containers and from sewing needles. The flesh was done with a pointelist technique, little dots of various shades and tints painstakingly applied with a needle. The painting surface, in this case, consisted of strips of curtain stiffening glued to illustration board and then foamboard. It provided the perfect texture for the technique. I employed this technique for several years, but I'm not sure I achieved as much success with any of my subsequent efforts. I went on to produce many paintings of Egyptian queens and princesses over a period of years. This particular piece, although it's not a patch on the famous painted bust in the Berlin Museum, nevertheless continues to hold a certain mystique for me.
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