I wrote last week about a painting, Babette’s Feast, that was part of a small group of my early formative work on display at the Fenimore Art Museum. Each of these pieces marked a new step forward in the development of my work that became more and more obvious as the years went by. The painting shown here, Redstar, is another of this group.
It’s a tiny little piece, only around 2″ tall by 3″ wide but it spoke loudly to me. It was painted in the format that characterized my early pre-Red Tree work, a larger block of color over a contrasting smaller block of color separated by a white line. This line was actually just the paper showing through, not a painted line at all. The distinction of this painting is in the larger block of color that made up the sky.
It was a random pattern of smaller blocks of color that gave the piece a different rhythm and feel that my earlier pieces in this format. These curved lines that crisscrossed the sky gave it a texture that was distinctly different from the smooth, textureless work I had been producing until this point. This sparked something in my mind and set me on a path where I sought more and more ways to create texture within the picture. I saw this texture as an enhancement to the colors of the work, something that gave the color the added dimensions of depth and complexity- perhaps the most important elements to the color in my work.
So, while it may be an easy piece to overlook due to it’s diminutive size , it appears very large for me.