September 2, 2014

A New Painting, A Diptych: "Black Disks"

Black Disks, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 2 panels each 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 in.

The composition for this diptych came about serendipitously: I had taken several shots of black circles on a farm machine; when I looked at them in Adobe Bridge, where I preview all my photos, one of the images was turned sideways or upside down (the one on the right) and its curve lined up perfectly with the image to its left. Ah-hah! instead of choosing one image and making a single panel work, it made sense to do a diptych, with the curve and the black disks uniting the two panels; showing their difference are the upper and lower colors––yellow and brown––and the arhythmic shadows.

Black Disks detail

At one point in the work, I had everything completed but the painting of the two black disks, which were still just sketched in; the piece looked uninteresting to me at that point. I drooped, thought it would be a failure. But then I finished those two shapes and the entire painting snapped into focus; a lesson that everything matters, and it's not over until it's completely finished.