Archive for December 17th, 2009

This is a painting titled Unafraid, that has been showing at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.  I was looking through some recent work and this smaller piece ( it’s a 6″ by 12″ canvas)  caught my eye.

Maybe it was the fact that I had been looking at older work earlier as I was scanning some older slides to my computer and this reminded me of some of that earlier work.  It had the simplicity of much of that work and the brushwork in the sky harkens back to earlier pieces, as well.

It’s a fine line to walk when you’re dealing with extremely simple compositions, trying to pull out emotion and feel from a minimal number of elements.  If it’s not done right, the piece ends up bland, saying little.  It might have an appealing appearance but it lacks depth and staying power.  It’s like a writer finishing a chapter that is well written but ultimately says nothing that moves the narrative or the reader.  Unsatisfying.  But when a simple piece works, meaning that it is full of feeling and a sense of completeness, it is strikingly dynamic.  The message and meaning is just right there to be seen without filtering through layers of obscuring detail.

I think that’s why I like this little piece so much.  It is what it is.  Unafraid.  It says what it has to say to the viewer quickly and boldly.  Those who feel it will read it  and understand it immediately.  And if the viewer didn’t connect, this painting has the feeling that it doesn’t care.  It’s not trying to make people like it.  It is what it is and it’s not afraid to be such.


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