oil on panel
24" x 18"
Colors jump out at me, dots bringing them to the front. When looking at nature, one often sees colors that stand out as well as many neutrals too plentiful to name. The dots isolate some of these colors, like a sample of the painter’s palette, perhaps like the theme of a musical composition. [The ring of hand bells, singular and brief, are part of a song just as the dots are to the painting. Check out Sonos Handbell Ensemble in this music sample of the Hallelujah Chorus by Handel.] Color theory is in play with a range of tints (white added to a color) creating unity and subtle contrast. The pale rose tone of the woods functions as a red contrasting with the high-key green, its complement
I think some of my landscapes are in similar to Claude Monet but with a twist. When first learning about Impressionism, many people marvel at the way a Monet landscape looks like the subject matter but on closer inspection the same picture reveals evidence of its making. Pieces of paint stand on their own. The artist’s thought and hand is in its construction is laid before us, unlike the classical painting tradition in which there were steps to making a painting that are invisible in the final layer (grisaille, then color; broader brushes to small, soft ones which even things out; varnish for a glossy surface, example: Claude Lorraine, Landschaft mit Apollo und Merkur, 1645). Sometimes the circles function like the brushstrokes of a Monet: the landscape is seen as a whole at a distance and some circles are visible, but not as well until observed close up. Others are composed of such large dots/circles that their geometry is up front, announcing straight off that they are not about realism, such as Winter Landscape #8 (Blue Dots) in a previous post. In other paintings I paint the whole picture in dots while at other times I only place a few or none at all. A note relating to a comment on that painting: the term "pixel" is short for picture element (thank you Webopedia.com). Despite these nineteenth and twentieth century painterly sources I believe pixels also feed into my work. Pixels have changed the way we think about images: what they are made of or the way they can be reduced to a basic structure. Discontent with the mechanical aspect of pixelization, my work brings the human touch to this design element.
Painter, critic, and former Professor at Yale University, Andrew Forge is an inspiration. In the back of my mind I think of him, as he focused on paintings made of dots about nature and other subjects. He co-wrote a book on Monet with Robert Gordon. His friend, poet John Hollander wrote a poem "Effet de Neige" about Monet's painting La Route de la ferme Saint-Siméon dedicating it to Andrew Forge (in The Gazer's Spirit: Poems Speaking to Silent Works of Art). It is very moving speaks to the mystery in the space of landscape, life, and painting.