September 20, 2010

A New Painting: "Arch"

Arch, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 5 1/2 x 4 inches

Expanses of greenish yellow and yellowish red establish the main structure of this painting, as flat, tilting planes. The original colors were more pure and intense, but I decided to try to make a color relationship that tended toward the harmonious rather than the raucous; the red and yellow are still fairly bright, but much subdued. I like the curves of this painting: the yellow arch over black, the round raised cylinder with its button of red, like a clowning exclamation.

I've included a detail to show the paint handling more clearly; keep in mind that it's above life size.


  1. it's easy to forget size here - this feels so much larger than it is. it's a good strong addition to the series (and I like how it relates to the top right image on your page.)

  2. hi rappel, glad you like this one. also, I've long realized, because of doing slide lectures, that small simple paintings look much larger in reproduction than larger, more complex ones; I assume it's to do with internal scale. It's one of the inevitable frustrations of mechanical reproduction.

  3. Wonderful and strange color relationships - unnameable colors which
    makes the painting as object stronger. Beautiful harmony!
    I wish I had painted it. Do you ever feel that about a painting by another
    artist? True possession, I guess. I often feel that about your paintings,
    Altoon. Now you know.

  4. I love how it underscores the beautiful abstract shapes of the mechanism while being entirely representational.

  5. oh yes, Myrna, I've loved some paintings so much that I want to paint just like that; my move toward abstraction is evidence of my love of minimalism. I'm humbled that you feel that way about this painting.

    Alessandra, thanks so much for the comment; I'm especially pleased that you highlight a main aim of this body of work: finding the abstraction within a real object.