This work was painted from life in my living room. It is a great white space which lends itself beautifully to luminescent and subtle tones. This is where I sit and let great ideas come to me. This scene in particular celebrates the use of a narrow palette and subtle tonal range.
As the painting was coming into its own it became more and more succinct and less and less forgiving to lay in that which completes but does not add. With regard to palette less is more this sitting well with what is a full and abundant field of objects. This explains how I came to this idea in the first place. I found myself looking into to again and again…at ease but at play tumbling over all the familiar objects at hand.
The perspective functions within a physical range of four feet even though the image convinces you that the visual space is much larger. By tipping the bottom edge of the canvas to what lay physically next to my legs and yet scaling up to what feels above your head it bends the space around. Taking license with formal perspective allows one many more options than letting it dictate to you. Perspective is rendered through form and colour. Placing shadows made of complementary and rich grays help to reinforce where the objects are in space simply and without fuss. One must venture in but refuse to decorate, be direct and yet sublimely elusive and elegant.
The white light that comes when winter is leaving and spring is in the distance has one believe that there is hope that it is not far off. This white volume felt is preferred over depth of field and so creates an intimacy that would otherwise be lost to high contrast. Form follows function, hence, Modern Dash.
This work was painted from life. While living with this arrangement I enjoyed its scale and chaos. A whole world exists in this jungle. I was interested in containing that atmosphere of warmth and grace without becoming predictable or too soft. The scale of the work speaks for itself when experienced in person. It is painted heroic and in fact it was larger and taller than myself. This then speaks to the body as compared to a small bouquet and hence the challenge of painting an atmosphere that holds and radiates a permanent engaging energy field….like that of being met at the door by a good friend.
The challenge was to establish various rhythms in pattern and colour comprised of variety without giving in to copying the real forms. So a prickly brush was used along with a fair amount of restraint in creating each variety. Within a narrow palette I used much mark making and simple colour to maintain variety and create interest. So although the motif is certainly convincing, an up close and personal view will show you that much can be done with marks and rich colour. It took me a couple runs to create a negative space right to the colour palette while also creating slight tension and make the atmosphere complete.
The glass vase which is noticeably more orderly and edited, contrasts and anchors the strange world it extends too. One can rest or dive in at will. Although flatly painted the fruits are solid and well formed to contrasting with the airiness of the object….the painting itself.
Vessel & Vault
I was attracted to the chilled out atmosphere in the image I used for this. An exercise in restraint and discipline in the rendering of this piece is illustrated in the drawing both under and over the colour. This will not always work as it has a great deal to do with controlling the palette. The colour range here is tied closely to the mood of the work as well as the drawing in umber and the subject matter. I wanted that stillness and austere quality to prevail without losing richness and attraction to the colour. The strong forms in the vessels contrast nicely with the bizarre organic patterns. I edited details to stop it from feeling heavy and decorated and it worked. If there is too much finish often the work closes up to the viewer so I prefer to leave it looser or more open to engage the eye instead. This applies to the overdrawing as well, as too much disengages the eye also and so here again you see restraint.