Sunday, September 28, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
This painting follows the basic schema used in Winter Landscape I in which the opposing verticals can be read as trees or curtains (domestic at a window sill or those for a stage). When I explained this reading to my mother-in-law, she had the correct observation that one gets the feeling of the first moment the stage curtains are drawn back to reveal the scenery. That moment is full of freshness, excitement, and anticipation. Perhaps, if I am lucky, I am able to show the long familiar subject of landscape anew. The pictures are unveiled and are about clarity. In Landscape in Grays, the crystalline, pale blue sky is captivating as it encapsulates the gray and stretches over the next layer of gray-green. Painting students learn to see the rainbow in whites and the dingiest institutional gray floors and surroundings. This painting makes use of a limited palette (a pared-down selection of colors), but still achieves luminosity. The proportion of the verticals is different than my other paintings and it gives the feeling of collosal scale like the columns of the Acropolis.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
5" x 8"
Moleskin watercolor book
I am enjoying working in this Moleskin watercolor book. My son didn't go to camp very much this summer and we took a lot of vacations, so the ability to paint as increments of time open up to me is wonderful. The travel watercolor set and book stay close to me, even now that the trips are over. I need to think in color; a single pencil isn't enough for the kind of painting I am working on. Sometimes pencil makes it into the watercolors, though, like in the first three here. It is used to sharpen, delineate form, and add texture.
The first image is about a framed, fluid space. The second is like a landscape of choppy waters or those waters can be read as grass. The horizontal lines also read as two things: delineations of sky or some kind of telephone lines. The third picture is more about atmosphere/gauze and tangibility. The fourth is a singular, light tree in a landscape. The fifth is effervescent landscape dots. If the latter seems too abstract for you, think of sunspots and vision.
Meanwhile, I'm working on publicity for "Nicole Maynard: Images of Optimism" opening at the Bowery Gallery on October 28th. I just updated my website with revised resume, statement, and portfolio - check it out!
Sunday, September 07, 2008
oil on panel
Another unsatisfactory painting provided the fodder for this one on top. I always liked the fairytale Rumpelstiltskin and the concept of turning straw into gold; I think most artists do. The painting combines inspiration from plane views. In one flight one often sees farms, fields, the sky coming between us and the world. People's pools, highways, and parking lots of cars near Newark, newly arrived from overseas, also catch my curiosity, but this painting derives from the rural. Geometric but permeable, it has implications for memory, time, experience, the defined and changing self.
A fellow student at Massachusetts College of Art made paintings in this vein. They were abstractions, less about the landscape, but very heavy on layering and rich in color. I forget her name, but I attended her ninetieth birthday party then, in 1991. Even Shrek talks about his inner complexity in terms of layers, "like an onion" the ogre explains. While I enjoy the freshness of a thin wash like Matisse [his studio assistant used to remove the paint from the canvas with turpentine at the end of the day so he could begin again at the start of the next without any accumulation. It was important to have the luminosity from the white of the canvas through the color and to remove texture which would impede the large shapes of colored light he made.] I also can create light through the interaction of color despite density. The painting has history; the texture,like wrinkles, is the hard-won evidence of the journey.