Lana Sutton #7: I’ll tell you how the sun rose


Edward G. Nilges, “Final Grisaille State of a Portrait of Lana Sutton, Holy Terror and the Dancer of Dawn”, 19 Oct 2010, acrylic on canvas, 12×16 in

Edward G. Nilges, “State of a Portrait of Lana Sutton, Holy Terror and the Dancer of Dawn, as of 7:00 PM 19 Oct 2010”, acrylic on canvas, 12×16 in

Edward G. Nilges, “State of a Portrait of Lana Sutton, Holy Terror and the Dancer of Dawn, as of 19 Oct 2010”, acrylic on canvas, 12×16 in

Edward G. Nilges, “Three States of a Portrait of Lana Sutton, Holy Terror and the Dancer of Dawn, as of 19 Oct 2010”, acrylic on canvas, 12×16 in

A DAY.

I’ll tell you how the sun rose, —
A ribbon at a time.
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.

The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
Then I said softly to myself,
“That must have been the sun!”

* * *

But how he set, I know not.
There seemed a purple stile
Which little yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while

Till when they reached the other side,
A dominie in gray
Put gently up the evening bars,
And led the flock away.

Emily Dickinson

The final severity of the grey goo is then followed by the dawn. You must control the brush to avoid having to scumble in form with white overmuch later on and to keep the freshness of the translucent colours.

You don’t want to remodel form later with opaque white. However, the feet will need some of this work.

The brush strokes recapitulate the history of Western art for they show dancing, intersecting planes of color-form, the common feature of Cezanne and Poussin.

The upper part of the sea needs work but I like the lower part, a dull green waiting for the sun, which shall illuminate its slight ebb and flow with rose scumbling.

The color of the dawn should be restrained for it will rain later.

Her face has to turn with colorform into the light.

The red of her red, white and blue must be more American. The white sash needs restrained impasto in pure white with a just-cleaned brush.

Her hair needs more lights on the right side for it is a feature of Native Son’s photographs.

Lana Sutton is a dancer, musician, gardener, environmentalist, activist, and holy terror in Chattanooga, Tennessee, who doesn’t mow her lawn. This painting is based on photography of Native Son.

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