realist female form oil painting
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Melina Noëlle – 18-04-23

Search for Perfection

This oil ‘Melina Noëlle – 18-03-23’ is the result of a long search for perfection. Let me tell you all about it. In September last year I made a live pastel drawing in preparation of a painting. That one was followed by a colored pencil drawing in November 2022. I wanted to study color relations first. For previous considerations I made with regard to this process I refer to the link above. So now was the time to get it right. A sort of grand painting. You know how this goes when you’re starting to get serious. You quickly bite off more than you can chew.

Compositional Definition

Defining composition was easy though. I already done that in the previous two pieces. For example, the placement of the pump on the lower left and the armrest at the right in the middle. I knew I had to put them on the outer rigdes in order to get the maximum length. Hunky dory so far until I was fed up with the flowery theme from the drawing. Luckily I got another idea soon after I began painting. It’s the story behind a previous drawing ‘Slava Ukraini – 15-02-23’.


December 19th there was this charming Ukrainian ensemble Uzory performing at Brugman Art. They come from Mykolajiv and their repetoire consists of folkore but also classic and jazz. I was teaching around the corner in the adjacent studio, listening to fine virtuoso music. After the wrap up I first came to know the deeper story. Apparently the male members came back from the Ukraine, only to return to the front after Christmas. Just to share some holiday time with their wifes in Holland. I was very much inpressed by this and I had a perfect story to complete the main theme. It would give the painting the needed deepening next to a perfect young woman to depict.

Kitsch Becomes Grand

As to the main theme, I guess I wanted to give it a lush look. I even threw in Williamsburg mother-of-pearl paints like I did in my Geesje Kwak paintings. You see, I had this foolish thought to make the ultimate kitsch. I mean, a great piece of kitsch that great so it would become wonderful to look at again. It all began when Melina sat in that white trailer parkish chair in her beautiful green dress. It spontaneously made me think of the concept of the Kill Bill movies. I think I catched Tarantino’s drift: let a script for a b movie be played by excellent actors. Kitsch becomes grand. I often think that way: some objects like the chair or shiny satin can look too much of a good think. When they become props for paintings they rub off their true value on the art work.

White but Not White at All

As to biting off more I could chew, soon I started to see the implications of my endeavors. The white chair proved to be a pain in the ass. It made me remind Van Gogh’s statement at the Frans Hals Museum. He wrote to his brother Theo he saw 50 different kind of hues of black in Hals’ painted jackets. So the subtle shifts in the colors of the white chair proved to be a tall order. Not necessarily too difficult to achieve but just a whole lot of work. So now you know how I spent my Winter here.


All in all a wonderul project to complete. In retrospective the painting also make sense colorwise. Ukrainian blue and yellow combined delivers you green. Hence the green dress is perfectly chosen. Green is mysterious but also the color of vegetation and growth. I’ll settle for that since I know Ukraine is known for its fertile ground. May it grow vegetation soon after the rage of war has ended.

Oil painting on linen (70 x 100 x 1 cm)

Artist: Corné Akkers