"And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."
— Edgar Allan Poe,The Masque of the Red Death
The Red lady came about because of a theme for a group art show. The theme was the Day of the Dead. I wanted to create something that represented my taste and touch on the tradition of this celebration.
The first ideas of this painting were different. The painting was larger and the figure I have now not the focus. Initially, I created a large shrine with people celebrating in the street. However, as I started to sketch my focus fell on the figure of the lady in red.
I went back to my draft table and stripped away a lot of the design I had worked a long time on. And I came up with this.
My view of this holidaywas to honor the living and the dead. To enjoy one's life but to be for mortality is always present.
I chose red for her dress of my favorite Edgar Allan Poe short story—The Mask of the Red Death. I love the double meanings in that story and I wanted a nod to those ideas in this painting.