Black Curve, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 6 3/4 x 8 in.
Some of the compositions for my paintings stick quite closely to the source image, but with others, such as Black Curve, I make changes. For this painting, I simplified shapes and eliminated unnecessary details. There had been white text in the black shape at the upper left, and below the big black curve were complex arrangements of small dark shapes; there was no yellow under there at all. Because what most interested me about this image was the black curve crossing the yellow one, I extended the yellow under the black curve and invented a shadow echoing the curve above it. All paintings, even those based on actual things, have to work as abstractions.
Black Curve detail