December 27, 2009

Black V

Black V, 2009, egg tempera on panel, 20 x 10 inches

This finished painting is now propped up on a shelf alongside Opposing Angles, Light Tube, and Green Tilt. They make a good group, conversing about form and color and shape. The flat black strap and cylindrical black pipe make a strong statement in their contrast with the lighter blue (the actual painting has a more intense blue than the photos, so the blue/black balance has more equilibrium); they are pushed back spacially by the square volume of blue overlapping the strap. This shape, moving in from the left, floats in front of the subtle curve of blue, and creates an illusion of shallow space, similar to the space behind the crossed pipes of Light Tube. I like the balance of this painting, and the way our eye is drawn down and then up again, following a bulge outward and back. I hope that the use of the tall vertical seems successful to you.


  1. Lovely to hear from you Altoon!
    This painting has much appeal for me. Even with the not quite accurate blue you mention in the photograph it still sings. I am curious about the egg tempera not really having used it myself bar one tiny introduction to it once! How wonderful to find the medium that is the ideal vehicle for your abstract work.
    The shadow in the blue is compositionally interesting the way it creates the tension with the black lines. The light (on the pipe bottom left) is drawing the eye as powerfully as the dark!
    Its exciting to see the abstracts in your ruglets....and the relationship between earth, natural and man- made things in so cohesive and somehow honest.

    I shall enjoy discovering much more of your work Altoon!

    When I was a child growing up in the 60's my father, who had bought his father's rural business from him, was selling David Brown Tractors and various farming implements - a very modest scale business for a mostly dairy farming region. Its interesting that I've rarely seen this aspect of rural life addressed in painting - particularly abstract painting - and you have reminded me of those early years sitting on tractors and staring at the peculiar shapes of farming implements! And visiting farms with my father on his rounds as a town girl who was not so used to cow-pats, animals-life and the ways of the land despite living where I did. I do remember being quite wide-eyed and I was keen to go on the visits.

  2. thanks, Sophie, for the wonderful comment on my painting and ruglets.

    I'm especially interested in your childhood connections to farming implements; being a city kid myself, I had no understanding of farming until I began to paint landscape, and found that the landscape I admired was formed by farms.

  3. Chiming in on this conversation about connections to farm implements and Sophie's comment about rarely seeing this aspect of rural life addressed in painting--I think she is right on. Your sensitive paintings on this subject are timely and important and are in many ways a powerful political comment about something precious that is being lost in our mega-agri business culture. I hope they can reach a wide audience.
    Also, I was one of the fortunate few to grow up on a farm, but I didn't really *see* these subtle images. Unbeknownst to me their quiet beauty was getting imprinted in my brain. Looking at them now, just these simple shadows and bare suggestions of objects I lived around and touched everyday, brings back really nice memories, in a way that a painting of a farmhouse or a country field could not illicit. These are about intimate, tiny moments, sort of like an old familiar smell or a snippet of music. Very sensory and personal. Very sweet.

  4. how about an actual snapshot for us of Black V " propped up on a shelf alongside Opposing Angles, Light Tube, and Green Tilt?"

  5. It's very interesting to me to read your––Julia and Sophie––comments on the nostalgia related to farming. This is a feeling that I don't have since I grew up in a city neighborhood. My interest in agriculture is more complicated; I touch on it a bit in the post "At a Point in Time, Change", listed under "Some Favorite Posts". But I think I'll write a post to try to elucidate some of my ideas.

    and rappel, I'm working on the photo.