The sky-scape in the Catcher in the Rye painting I’m working on gradually changes from a sunny, happy temperament to gloomy and bleak. The darkest part of the painting is on the far right side, where Holden Caulfield will be standing on a cliff.
Holden Caulfield’s unsettled state of mind is revealed in the opening paragraph:
“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me…”
Here are a couple pictures of the canvas; one of the upper left, sunny side, and one of the upper right, dark side. I’ll be adding more details as I go, and will be starting soon on the cliff and rye field.
“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be. I know it’s crazy.”
This is the scene I’m currently painting from the novel The Catcher in the Rye. When Holden Caulfield, the teenage protagonist of the novel who has had a very troubled and traumatic past, is questioned by his younger sister Phoebe, regarding what he would like to do when he gets older, this is his response.
This large oil painting measures 30″ by 48″ and will be the centerpiece in the living room of my client! He’s given me his interpretation of how he envisions this scene, I’ve added some input, and this vision is currently being transferred to the canvas! I’ll be posting a few pictures as I progress with the painting.