Take a Chance
This is "Fortuna", or you may know her as Lady Luck. She throws caution to the wind, takes her chances, and has faith in her lucky charms. This portrait was commissioned and is in memory of a special soul.
Commissions are always a challenge for me, especially if the subject is no longer with us. It is imperative to capture their essence but also their likeness in a way that will be recognizable and will resonate with the recipient; they loved that person so much that they wanted a portrait to look at them everyday. No pressure there, LOL! I do enjoy the challenge. The feeling that I've done my job, can't be described, really, other than to say I am at peace and can look at the end result and smile.
This piece was inspired by a favorite photo provided by the client and a description of of the subject's character -- which led me to look to historical allegory paintings, sculpture and writings based on Goddesses of Fortune. Fortuna is often depicted with an orb suggesting the globe or fortune telling, as well as being painted against a stormy sky with some light breaking through, suggesting that we cannot forecast the future and that it can be turbulent.
Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of fortune or prosperity is often depicted in the company of elephants, trunks up -- a lucky sign for some and a known 'good luck charm' of the subject of this painting. She is surrounded by water (a sign of prosperity) as well as coin or gold. She is always holding lotus flowers.
I chose certain elements from these muses as well as adding my own touches -- the subject's golden sandal dangling from her toe and the other foot bare, to suggest that she is carefree. The butterflies are another favorite symbol of the subject. I chose to paint them as monarch butterflies. Monarch representing the head of a family and three of them to represent not only the Triple Goddess: Maiden, Mother, Crone but also the client, her mother - the recipient of the painting, and grandmother- the delightful subject.