Archive for July 10th, 2010

This is the last painting I finished for my show, New Days, that opens in two weeks at the West End Gallery.  The name of this 24″ by 30″ canvas is Bent But Not Bowed and was started several months ago, sitting in various stages just on the periphery of my vision. 

 It started with many layers of gesso that were at first troweled on then finsihed with thick veins that run through the surface in a haphazard, chaotic fashion.  When it was finally prepped it had a definite character before I ever put the first drop of paint to it and as a result, begged for me to put it aside and ponder it.  It had something in it that was there to be revealed with the paint above it, if I could only find it. 

So I set it aside and would consider it as I worked on other paintings, always a bit intimidated by the strength and motion within the surface.  It had to be right or it would fall apart under its own force.

The surface was so rich in texture that over the months I determined that the imagery should be simple and close to the surface, not deep into the picture plane, which is counter to what I normally seek in my work.  The imagery should truly react to such a strong and emotive surface. 

It also needed strong color to accentuate the surface, to bring it even more forward.  More prominent, not understated.  The trick was bringing these elements together in a way that didn’t look too considered, too thought out.  Make each element- the texture, the color and the imagery- play off of one another, bringing the strengths to the forefront in an organic fashion that gives the painting a feeling of it bursting off the canvas on its own. 

This piece certainly has a dynamism is the studio.  It demands the eye.

I feel as though I haven’t squandered the potential that the canvas first held when I first looked on it after the gesso was applied.  It is a piece that has real life, real feel.  A voice that has words of its own, well beyond mine.

In short, it is what I hoped it could be…

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