The work is hard to see clearly in the photograph because much of it is white lines over white clouds. New architecture is taking shape – a pair of Doric order pillars flanking the entrance to the courtyard. Pillars have been associated with initiation for thousands of years, and form a ritual entrance through which new initiates must pass. In this painting the Empress is being brought to the transition from being a girl to a new life as a woman.
I’ve waited until now to put the pillars in because I thought it would be much easier to do the pillars after the sky was complete, rather than trying to do the sky around the pillars. Now the framework is complete I’ll put down the marble whites with blended grays for the shadows. I’m looking forward to doing the staining to get that marbling effect again.