My mind has been in a swirl about this background….making and discarding options both physically and mentally.

While I liked each choice on its own, I didn’t like the first two backgrounds when the piece was viewed as a whole…particularly against the gown. I didn’t like the blue against the red and yellow, and the green was too busy and competed with the dress.

Klimt’s backgrounds are usually one of his distinctive features, but in this his Hygieia….the distinctive portions of the background were the tortured embodiments of disease and illness which presumably Hygieia (representing the field of medicine) would stave off.


I chose not to include the background figures, so when I thought about it…my background serves no other purpose than enhancing the figure of Hygieia. I like the green against the red, so I decided to keep that basic colour, and altered it by eliminating all the pale  and variegated greens which stood out too much. Now the  background  is all the same value and quite muted, with just a few touches of a bit darker wool to give it some vitality. To me , it makes the reds look rich and somewhat antique-ee…and I like how it doesn’t fight for attention.


With the flash, lighter strips show up which aren’t visible  in natural light.

I liked how the pale green popped the red in the ribbons around her head, and for awhile, contemplated either just leaving it, or creating a bit of an aura with the pale green extended around her headpiece which gradually would fade into the more muted colours.

Once again I decided it would be too distracting, and there wasn’t enough background space above her head to develop it properly, so I opted for the more muted alternative, and pulled out all the pale green. It’s a good thing that linen is forgiving…by now I’d hooked parts of that section 4 times. (and have a large bag of pale green cut strips)…..You would think that after four times…I’d finally have it right…..but no!


When it was finished…it was just too blah…


…and wasn’t a close enough match with the background.

I couldn’t forget how the light green gave it life


….so….I took some of the light green strips I’d pulled out….cut them down the centre and hooked them just along the edge of the ribbons. That was a step in the right direction…..but those sections (being just up and down…since it was too small a space for the wiggly motif of the rest of the background)….meant that it just didn’t “go” with the rest of the background.


My final solution, was to hook these spaces in the same curly motif and colours of the background, using a #6 cut rather than the #8 of the background, so that it was possible in the confined space. So out it came once again…and I’m rehooking it for the LAST time.  (6 times lucky)


The left side (as you look at it) is finished.  WHew… I’m satisfied with it. I’m not going to think about it or alter it any more…at least until it’s finished. OK out comes the right side…ever onward and upward.

6 thoughts on “Finally..?????

  1. Thanks Pjb, I certainly haven’t felt very talented lately. I think this has been one of the hardest colour selections I’ve made. I think a true artist would be able to ‘see’ the colours in the minds eye…not have to go through this ‘hit and miss’ process. Hopefully i’ll learn from it, and make wiser choices next time.

  2. Thanks Jennifer….I guess teaching Grade One for many years helped develop a degree of patience, but I’m really more stubborn than patient….determined not to give in and settle for something I didn’t really like. I might have packed it away for awhile…but it’s too big to fit in that drawer. 🙂

  3. I think you chose well for your background. It is a restful color that doesn’t compete with the reds. I don’t know many artists who don’t have to work at creating what they see in their mind. Art is a process and a learning experience.

  4. Thanks Miz T…that’s exactly what I wanted of the background. …to be restful and not compete. I think it has been a worthwhile exercise to have struggled with it.

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