I posed my model outside at about 1:00. I took a string of photos of her in various positions with strong light and shadows playing across her face. It was a hot day and she was standing on the balcony outside my studio. She had only a few minutes and the session was impromptu, but I just HAD to catch that face in that light. Later going through the photos, I kept returning to this one. The model is a very spiritual person, and it seemed to me this came across in this pose in this light. The background was not very good though so I searched through all of my photos of the trees in the park featured in the original photo. I found one I could adapt to the pose. I adjusted the light in the background to match that of the figure. As I was working on the painting I went back and forth between background and figure working to achieve a dynamic interplay between the more abstracted background and the very realistic figure. In the end I was very satisfied with the way the two elements interacted. This painting was chosen for exhibit in a very competitive international pastel show. This painting sold at the show.