The Maid of Orléans

Oil on gessoed watercolor paper, 5" x 7", Daniel J Zollinger

The Maid of Orléans, I learned after painting this, was Joan of Arc's nickname. Not being a history buff, I never really knew much about her in detail. This piece was just an attempt to do my first oil on paper. I had no thoughts or plans about what it would be of, something I often do. I usually just start painting and see what comes up. So, as I was focusing on the act of painting on paper, and enjoying the feel of it, I started to just flesh out a figure and go with it. When I was done- I realized, this could be Joan of Arc. Today, before titling this- I thought I should look up Joan of Arc and see if that title would indeed fit, what with the Roman Catholic nun, and what appeared to be fire in the lower left. I also wasn't sure of her age, I was going to name it, "Young Joan…"

Well- it turns out, she WAS a heroine of the Roman Catholic church, she WAS burned at the stake by FIRE, and she WAS young, 19. (not that this is a surprise to some or all of you, but I as I said am no history buff) . After researching this, it gave me the chills. Everything in the painting matched her story, and I was only painting by intuition.


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