Archive for February 3rd, 2010


I came across this painting from seven or eight years back,  an 18″ by 26″ piece titled Call of Freedom.  It was quite a different look for my work at the time with its simple design of two two blocks of colors playing off one another.  It may not visible in this photo of the piece, but there was a hint of purple through the bottom block of color that really enhanced the piece for me.

The tree was put in at the last moment.  After I had completed the two blocks, I sat this aside for quite awhile, looking at it in the studio, trying to determine if it held together just as it was.  Was there enough there — color, texture, contrast– to hold my interest, to make me want to continue looking.

This was a tough one for me.  It met all my criteria.  It held my eye.  Had meaning for me.  But I still wasn’t sure it would hold for others.  So I hesitatingly put the tree in place, almost as a compromise.

The tree changed the dynamic somewhat, brought everything closer, but it still allowed the blocks to dominate.  To tell their part of story, so to speak.  It worked without altering my first impression of what I saw in the piece and created an “in” into the painting for others.

This might be considered a compromise.  I don’t know.  For me, it’s about coming across that space between the painting and the viewer and connecting in some way, communicating something I might not be able to define.  So long as it doesn’t alter the feeling or the message I get from the painting, it’s not a compromise but an opportunity for more engagement.  As a result, I often think of this piece as where I want my work to be in the long run.

Is it compromise?  I don’t know.  I don’t care.

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