Love Is Dead by Mark Sheeky

G575A Love Is Dead
Oil on panel with frame of resin, plastic and rose thorns.
April to May 2013, Size 220x276 mm

Detail from Love Is Dead by Mark Sheeky Detail from Love Is Dead by Mark Sheeky Detail from Love Is Dead by Mark Sheeky

About this painting
A series of three miniature paintings in a custom frame, painted for a portrait competition. The circular paintings are 40mm across, the central portrait about 70mm high.

I began with the frame, a resin frame which he wanted to customise. I wanted a central portrait, and decided on one of the silent film stars that I had often painted.

I was struck with the poignancy that I didn't have a real model, and there was the idea; for a painting of artistic obsession, so focused upon the quality of the painting that the subject itself was secondary, like so much art, like so many tiny detailed paintings. It is the technique that is loved here, not the artistry.

Technical details
The frame required a lot of modification. A thick wood back needed to be added, to be suitable for gallery mirror plates. Twisted plastic vines were added, epoxy clay and real rose thorns, before being painted using acrylics, metallic paint and finally added dust with a scent; sage and lavender and chamomile. The painting looks and smells Victorian and was my first 2D, 3D, and olfactory artwork.