May 1, 2011

A New Painting: "Reds"

Reds, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 7 x 5 inches.


One thing that interested me in making this painting was the color red in many variations: lighter and darker, warmer and cooler. While I was working on it I worried that I wouldn't be able to balance the different hues, especially the warm orange-red of the left part of the painting with the cooler reds to the right. It took lots of adjusting and repainting of color until I felt satisfied that the whole was fairly harmonious. The red is made more insistent by the small rectangle of green; the gray curve echoing the red one is another non-red element. I also enjoyed the planes: rectangular, triangular and curved; parallel to the picture plane or tilting forward and back. I like the sense of a piling up of shapes. And then there are the holes, from the oval containing a tiny hole at the top right to the large holes right and left. Many of my paintings contain holes cut through surfaces in this way; I could easily leave them out, but for me they create a rhythm in addition to that of the other shapes and colors as your eye bounces from one dark round to another. And they are a humorous invitation to look deep, beyond the surface of things.


9 comments:

  1. This must have been a really complex image to try to convey in space and yet it is so successful. I like the subtle differentiation of the oranges and reds, also not easy, but well done ~ hats off Altoon!!

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  2. thanks so much Mona; I'm glad you think this painting is a success.

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  3. Oh, man. This might be one of my faves.

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  4. Both subtle and strong, Altoon!

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  5. I am really enjoying this work Altoon. Your description of the balancing the reds reminds me of a writer weighing the balance of different words; their heft, the way they settle against another. I think that one reason the piece works so well is the harmonics you create in the colors, the planes and the circular holes. Your comment about the eyes made me chuckle.

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  6. this one has so many levels of planes, one in back, others clearly in front and tat small half black/half green small hole is wonderful.

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  7. I'm with Anon! Wow! So complex, but not complicated -- does that make sense? There's just so much to see here.

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  8. gee, thank you, Hannah, A. and Susan. It's good to know that you all think the painting works.

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