Stan Kurth, my instructor from the workshop I took in February, said something that I keep pondering. He said that people like a painting with some mystery. If the meaning of a painting is clear, we lose interest and move on, same as we would with a novel or movie. Of course, there are other elements that make a painting intriguing, but I notice as I look at art, that there is a lot of truth to his observation about mystery. Accordingly, I have been working to make things a bit more puzzling in my sketches.
I painted the figure above this morning at a live sketching session, and then this evening made an effort to add mystery by adding a background that I think does not match where a well-dressed woman is likely to be. I, at least, wonder why she is sitting in a room that seems to be under construction, and why she is all dressed up but alone.
This is a gouache and casein painting.