22 January 2021

before and after, the altered, and unaltered cosmetics of beauty



Above, and below are two sets of photos of two pictures done two weeks ago. I had been happy about them, and feeling so confident that I carelessly didn't secure them back onto my easel well enough for transport when packing up so they slipped off and fell into the bushes, sort of. 

After dropping these two (there was a third which was not damaged) I resolved in my head to take them home, let them dry, and repair them cosmetically at a later date. No drama!


So I brought them back a few nights later when the evening light was similar. I started and finished two new ones but afterwards when the palette was rich with all the right colours slurping over it I put these two up one after the other and fixed them cosmetically.

I hesitate to 'touch up' paintings. When I take them off the easel they are generally finished and to my liking. Messy and slurpy they are sometimes, but no bother for me as this is my 'style', if I have a style at all.

And though one needs to be attentive to not disturb the overall light of a picture these were fairly easy. The one below needed an entirely new sky which really does change the painting completely. But I was not loyal to the originals, I just wanted to see if I could bring them back to any life.

And about the same period that I was doing cosmetic surgery on my paintings a most curious thing happened at the White House where Kayleigh Mcenany did her final press conference without any make-up, and it caused quite a stir. 

In Trump world, women are pressured 'to look good' for men. Trump is chauvinist (among a number of other less flattering adjectives) and he liked how Roger Ailes at Fox had turned all the newsreaders into blonde bimbos. But Ailes had simply lifted the formula from Madison Avenue way back in the time of Cleopatra.

I cannot imagine just what this pressure is for women of all ages to have to 'face' the world (and cameras) painted with layers of pigment. As a man, I have never had to think of such a thing.

Kayleigh, obviously an attractive American beauty, (physically speaking), certainly had a make-up girl on call 24/7 but who had evidently ditched the White House before Kayleigh came out to do what must have been her worst, most mendacious speech before disappearing, maybe forever, though probably not. 

But how different is the photo below the first one! I was so struck by it that I made a screen shot at the time. It seems to reveal her inner dysfunction like in an episode of the Twilight Zone.

I sympathise now more than ever with all the poor women who have to live in this world of men defined by FOX's Camera-Ready Beauty school for success. And all those stilettos! 

Full disclosure, though I like a woman wearing a hint of Cleopatra black eye-liner I have always avoided women wearing this kind of pancake make-up which many men like in fact.

Addendum, I am such an idealist that I actually imagined that Kaleigh Mcenany, who many said had been in tears for a week after the storming of the Capitol, simply gave up on Trump. That was it. She had watched him gleefully in front of his TV enjoying the scene and refusing entrities to call out the National Guard to stop it. The penny dropped, and her Christianity revolted even after all that time of devotion to the King Fink. But maybe I give her to much credit, so my friends tell me.

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