So I had to repaint the background – it’s darker than I had planned but I’m not unhappy with it and besides, what else can I do????
After living with it a few days and getting some “friendly critiques” I tried to soften the lace edge on the left side and added a bit of dark to the books on the right hand side to lose that line of the binding going off the page. I also added a touch darker shadow under the saucer and under the top book onto the bottom book.
Then, the name. My first idea was “Tea With Hank and Bill” but decided that was not serious enough, so it’s now called “Tea With the Classics”.
By the way, the books were my mother’s. She was an avid reader and actually read Shakespeare! The date in the frontispiece of Longfellow is 1902, and the Shakespeare must be equally that old – and the pages are bound upside down in the binding! I’m guessing she must have bought them at a second hand store when she was a young woman working in the “city”.
At any rate, I think the painting is done – what do you say?
Casein on watercolor board, 14x18