Art in the time of lockdown #8

“Aweary in Lockdown”

One of my favourite paintings is Millais’s ‘Mariana’, based on the Tennyson poem of the same name, which was in turn inspired by William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.
Recent news articles have featured the increasing health problems, notably backache, from working at home without benefit of ergonomic seating. I wanted to capture the essence of a working day spent at a home computer using a standard desk and chair, and unable to get out for adequate exercise. A certain recipe for severe back ache.

Yes, I really do have a framed print of the Millais painting.
  • this has been the simplest image to create so far, being made up of three photographs of me standing by my computer, taken by my husband – yes, he is very patient with me; and the ‘Mariana’ print does hang on the wall right there
  • the ‘Clone Tool’ was used to lengthen the curtains, so that they covered various bits and pieces that inevitably find their way onto work spaces, and my dress to mimic that in the painting
  • the ‘Polygonal Selection Tool’ was used to select the monitor screen before using the ‘Smudge Tool’ to blend the image
  • to mimic the colour of the flooring and the stool in the painting I used the ‘Polygonal Selection Tool’ to select the area of my seat cushions, and the ‘Magic Selection Tool’ to select the area of the carpet I wanted to change; I then used the ‘Gradient Tool’ to add a red colour wash to the seat and an orange one to the floor; I used the ‘Smudge Tool’ to blend the carpet tones
  • finally I used the ‘Filter Gallery’ to bring the whole together: first, ‘Artistic – Watercolour’, then ‘Texture – Craquelure’


Mariana, John Everett Millais, 1851 painted in oils on wood

Millais was a founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood – a group of young British artists who wished to return to the precision of line and colour that they felt had been absent from artworks from the time of Raphael. Their paintings centred on religious, allegorical, literary, and classical themes.
Mariana is weary from waiting for her betrothed; the wait is futile as her dowry has been lost at sea and the longed for nuptials will never take place.

The gallery caption included this quote from Tennyson:

She only said, ‘My life is dreary,
He cometh not,’ she said;
She said, ‘I am aweary, aweary,
I would that I were dead!’

(Information and image from Wikipedia website.)

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Thank you for reading.

Stay well. Stay safe. Stay apart. X