Mixed Media on Canvas: Acrylic, Tissue Paper, Tulle and Sequins. 24″ x 36″ (60.9 cm x 91.5 cm)
This painting is inspired by Act III of the opera Eugene Onegin, composed by Tchaikovsky, and based upon the novel in verse by Alexander Pushkin. It is a story of loving what you cannot have and loving too late. It is a story about blindness and pride. It is a story about rejection and regret.
The heroine, Tatyana Larina, falls in love with a pompous gentleman, Eugene Onegin, and impulsively discloses her feelings to him in a letter. Her openness and willingness to love, without reservation, is Tatyana’s greatest strength. Sadly, her love is not reciprocated. Eugene rebuffs and humiliates Tatyana, loftily advising her to restrain herself from similar outbursts in the future. Five years later, the two encounter one another again and Eugene is smitten. However, Tatyana is now married and well-established in society. Though Eugene begs her to leave her husband, Tatyana is resolute in being faithful, despite the arousal of her former feelings.
We, the audience, sympathize with Tatyana. Her understanding of the world is innocent and pure. By candidly revealing her feelings to the person she loves, Tatyana refutes pride and societal standards and embraces nature and her own vulnerability. Here, in this state of nakedness, Tatyana recognizes her passion and desire to love.
I have painted Tatyana of Act III. She is once again intoxicated by the presence of Eugene. Yet, she is sad and burdened by the untimely advances of her former love-interest. Her decision to stay with her husband, her fidelity, is not what makes her a heroine. Rather, it is her acknowledgment of the past and her ability to move forward that makes her heroic.