How do you turn perfection into something even more interesting?

I consume a very large amount of images every week, looking for an interesting composition, some striking element that will inspire a drawing or a watercolor.

Once you find it, the challenge is to get inspired without copying and staying too close to the original inspiration. You want to make the idea yours.

Darla Baker

This beautiful photograph of Darla Baker is perfect. I unfortunately cannot attribute it to the photographer as Google simply wouldn’t list the author, but whoever took that picture has quite an eye.

There is an asymmetry to the composition that is amazing -look at the angle of the arm from the torso. You expect a perfect line from the eyes to and through the arm, but get something else.

The curve of the arm raises a question -is the model posing with her hand on her waist, or is someone grabbing her arm?

Now that we know there is something interesting from a composition point of view in that photograph, how do we get inspired to create a piece of art from what is already perfect?

In my case, the asymmetry in the composition got me thinking about the theme of Janus, the god of transitions and new beginnings.

If the model was to become Janus, her face had to emerge from a Rorschach test image -the future is unwritten and we slowly decipher it; Janus faces it while also looking at the past.

Can I also find  a way to express what’s going on in the head of the model as she stands at the crossroad between past and future?

Here is what I came up with: Janus, watercolor on Arches paper, 10″ x 14″