February 26, 2015

A New Painting: "Archway"

Archway, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 6 5/8 x 8 /1/4 in. 

Sometimes metaphor is too much.
I was very attracted to this image, with black hoses disappearing into the dark of a curved opening. A trapezoid leads into it; a partial circle at the upper right repeats the curve. But.....now as I look at it, the image is too loaded with metaphor: the depths, the "figures" swallowed by it, emerging to light. Many paintings can be read metaphorically––an image meaning more than what it literally shows––but in this case it seems heavy handed to me, a little over the top. So, at this point I don't know what to think of it.

Archway detail


  1. I think it's fabulous, maybe better if left unexplained. How about a painting of the detail?

    1. Thank you, Cora. Nope, I'm not at all interested in repainted a painting of the detail.

  2. How brave you are, to post a painting that you feel so uncertain about!
    In the spirit of supporting your position, I will say that, if I were painting that image, it would have gone more haywire and would have more of something I can't describe, which I see especially in the upper right portion with the partial circle which appears a violet grey on my screen. That's what has my attention more than the tunnel effect, for some reason; like there's something invested there, even though I imagine the hoses disappearing into the void took the longer effort to paint.
    Just my thoughts, for what it's worth, in case it's useful. Your palette is gorgeous, as ever. I am, of course, among your work's most devoted fans.

    1. If I really hated the painting, Ravenna, and considered it a total failure, I wouldn't show it. That does happen from time to time and no one knows about it. But I've learned that I'm not always the best judge of my own work.
      The partial circle at the upper right is a cool white, not really a gray at all. I did adjust that color several times.
      I'm glad you like the color.