Painting in Watercolour and gold leaf, 21.5 x 11 inches, 2013
The Naked Masquerade is the first painting where I actually stopped at the ‘blue stage‘ of my paintings, having previously though about it but never quite dared, or it wasn’t quite appropriate to the subject and so on. Almost all my paintings have begun at this stage – where I paint the whole thing tonally in Prussian Blue, but usually I add colour on top.
The background of this painting is in 24k gold leaf, which gives it a wonderful three-dimensional effect, but this is rather hard to convey in photographs. All the images below are of the same painting – the ones with the darker background are from a scan, which is good for showing the detail of the painting; the ones where the background is very bright gold are from photographs in daylight, which shows the gold leaf very well but not the detail of the painting in blue. You see both effects in the real thing – it is constantly changing with changing light.
As to the story, I leave that up to the viewer, though I am quite certain that someone didn’t read their invitation card very closely. And the cats… are up to something.