Figure Study (after Botero)


A Figure Study (left) after Botero (right)

I have finally returned to the studio after a one month hiatus, and it feels so good!

I just finished copying a 1989 figure study painting by Columbian artist Fernando Botero. He is well known for his inflated caricatures of his subjects. My favorite Botero figure study is called ‘The Bath’; and I spied a copy in a Ruidoso, NM restaurant ladies room about 18 years ago. I immediately loved this ‘big boned gal” figurative artwork. I don’t know if it was the expression of surprise on her face in the mirror or contemplating how she will be able to perch her august derrière on that tiny potty! Maybe that is the reason for her startled look — she just realized there is a big problem! Anyway, I thought she looked mighty chic rockin’ those red heels and hair bow … doesn’t she just make you giggle?

Thus began my long fascination with Fernando Botero’s unique style. I bought my very own copy of the figure study; but over the years, the paper buckled and it looked awful. So I decided to paint my own copy to add to my figure study collection. This also gave me the chance to remove the lettering at the top; and I expanded the top and bottom so my painting could occupy the same frame.

It was so interesting to study this closely. There were several details in Botero’s figure study I didn’t notice at first: the key in the door, the pink toilet paper, and her blue earrings. I considered making the hair silver and admitting that she was my alter-ego. Or perhaps she could serve as a cautionary tale … step away from those cookies! Maybe she should hang in the kitchen! But, as you can see in my completed figure study painting on the left, I played it pretty straight; and it will be my little secret that I identify very closely with this substantial, fascinating lady!

About Valerie Rawlings

Austin, Texas oil painter focusing on portraits, landscapes and still life paintings
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