Archive for February 13th, 2011

Glory Run

I talked the other day about painting in series and that brought ot mind a few themes that I have painted over the years that were part of a loose series, not necessarily painted near each other in time but connected through subject and composition.  One such series were a group of paintings done over a number of years that contained a single sail boat riding out the waves.  They were simple compositions, with basic elements that emphasized the motion of the craft yet maintained an almost abstract quality. 

 The piece shown here, Glory Run, is one of my favorites from that series and has that abstraction with the round sun and the crescent sail playing off one another.  The rounded arcs of the waves and the oblong clouds add more geometry to the composition and make it a piece that I can look at without even realizing the subject.  On the other hand, I can sometimes look at this piece and focus solely on the shape of the craft and the sailor at its stern.

Near this same time I also did this piece, Lone Running, working off the same basic theme.  This might be that same sailor.  I’m not really sure.  This piece, to me, plays even more off the way the shapes interact, giving it a very abstract feel.  The crescent sail comes rhythmically off the curve of the wave and creates a nice symetry with the sun.  This painting really works for me in this manner.

Now, as I write about how I see these and what I think makes them work, I have to point out that none of those thoughts about symetry, abstraction or interaction of the elements come to mind when I’m painting.  Oh, they may be there, hidden in the thoughts of simply obtaining a sense of rightness in the piece, which is first and foremost.  They probably do have a say in the back of my mind.  But as I approach the table or easel, they are secondary to the idea of conveying emotion.  After a painting is done it’s then easy to see how these qualities have played a part in bringing out the emotion I was seeking. 

I haven’t painted a boat piece in a few years, haven’t had whatever urge it was that created these pieces.  But I always stop over these pieces and gaze at them for a while.  There’s something there for me that goes beyond breaking down the elements and composition.  Maybe I should soon continue the series…

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