Taurus! I wanted to go super feminine with this one, particularly to contrast the conventional associations with the iconic Taurus symbol, the bull. The concept didn't immediately come clear to me until I did a bit more research into the sign, and an idea bloomed. The flowers favoured by Taurus are apparently roses and foxglove, and the sign is ruled by planet Venus, with a lucky colour of rose as well. I envisioned a romantic floral setting, and steeled myself (brave like Taurus!) to attempt something scary to me: a close-up portrait!
Introducing Jessica Rose! Jess is a co-worker of Sharon's, and she's also a Taurus. She had applied to be one of my models when I put out the call, and of course Sharon put in a good word for her! Jess even found her (faux!) septum piercings on a shopping trip after we chose her - bonus points to models who source their own props! Sharon coloured Jess' hair that absolutely dreamy pink colour in real life! I think it suits her perfectly. Jess did her own perfect brows, and Sharon was our make-up artist. I love the whole colour palette here. Rose-coloured glasses aren't needed.
We met on a lovely morning in early summer. We had had some trouble getting our schedules to align, so the gorgeous rosebushes in my yard that I had in mind had dropped all but a few scant petals. I made the most of what blooms were left, and I also grabbed some fragrant long stem roses from our local grocer. I did chop off their heads. It was very Tudor.
We had Jess lay in a bed of roses. Ah, how lyrical! We were outdoors, and all of our combined children were present, including my adult daughter, who helpfully wrangled the herd at the park across the road. Thanks, Miriam! I climbed my trusty ladder and took a few shots in the shade before the quickly-moving Sun soon had us moving and rearranging everything. I don't love harsh sunlight! While we were busy shooting, another model from our project (Sarah is the sign Cancer!) walked by with her family, toting a red wagon. She called out wondering if we wanted to see her new "pet"... a huge snapping turtle! He had wandered into their backyard but wasn't really what they were looking for in a guard animal, so he was being safely relocated. Normally I would have gone trotting off after the turtle, but we were supposed to be inspired by a different animal. And we did get "the shot". Isn't this "Bull" stunning?!
Symbolism here includes the obvious bull with nose ring and horns. There are two foxglove flowers for the second sign of the zodiac, and roses for Taurus' flower. You'll notice Jess has a rose tattoo. There are a couple of clover flowers, because they're lucky, and bovines love clover! Taurus is an Earth sign, so the floral theme is apt. Pink is their lucky colour, and also represents Venus nicely. So much meaning in one portrait!
The B-Side of Taurus is also amazing. It was very hard to choose which one went into the calendar.
Known affectionately for being 'set in their ways' (some might use the less romantic term "stubborn"), bulls can be harder to get to budge than a brick wall. Hence the bricks underneath our Taurus dancer's feet. (They are actually antique bricks from a wall in downtown Kincardine! I only ever use my own stock photography.) The skirt is created digitally from many bits of flower petal. Jess was wearing jeans that day, as I had said we'd likely only go for head and shoulders, and I had meant to crop this one, but plans change, inspiration strikes, and sometimes that means getting even more creative!
Please join me this weekend, Friday November 30th from 6pm - 9, and December 1st from 10am to 4pm, at the Kincardine Pavilion for the annual Artful Hands show and sale. I will have Stars of the Zodiac calendars and small prints just right for gifting. I will also have a selection of landscapes, waterscapes, Kincardine scenes, fantasy, and other themed prints and framed work. There are treasures to be had! I'd love to see you. This is one of the only shows I do all year, so I look forward to it, and hope for success! Wish me luck if you can't attend!
TAURUS - April 20 - May 20
Model: Jessica Rose
Hairstylist, Make-up Artist: Sharon Lytle
Assistant: Miriam Ciss
Photography, editing, concept: Sarah Chisholm