the cecilia beaux dress
Have you ever been in an artist's studio and caught a whiff of the oil paints? There is something cozy and comfortable about this smell. Maybe it reminds me of my grandma. She was an artist. The walls of her tiny living room were covered from floor to ceiling with her paintings. Her house had this oil paint smell, mingled with the smell of a wood stove.
When I look at a Cecilia Beaux painting, it's pure synesthesia: I can almost smell the intoxicating paint. Her brush strokes are wide and expressive. Layers and layers of paint tell a story about how this painting was made. I almost feel transported into her artist's studio and watch the deliberate movement of her hand brushing each stroke of paint onto the canvas. I think this is what I love most about Cecilia Beaux.
If you ever get to D.C., you must visit the Portrait Gallery where this brilliant painting "the Man with the Cat" hangs. For me, it was love at first sight. I loved it so much that I wanted to recreate it somehow. This desire evolved into a soft yellow dress, with fluid lines and swaths of gathered fabric.