May 26, 2010

Ochre Shield

Ochre Shield, egg tempera on vellum, 4 1/4 x 6 1/2

While working on this painting, and thinking about it in relation to Five Circles, another composition using flat forms, I wondered if all images of this sort would look like a face. The openings, the bolts, the large empty plane: as humans, can we avoid this association? At any rate, I like the straightforward shapes in this work, their relationships, and the balance of light and dark; it's serious and funny, as though trying to keep a straight face (sorry for that, I couldn't resist).

Here is a detail, so you can see something of the paint. And below, to give a sense of scale, is the painting hung in my upstairs study/studio/tv room, alongside two ruglets: Tiles (17 x 10 inches) to the right and Purple Push (10 x 21 inches) above.


  1. face-like indeed, but first what I saw an an index card file, no accounting for associations. the bottom image shows more red/ contrast in the "mouth" , I suspect this is more accurate than the greenish color, or not?

  2. I can see the index card reference, rappel; it's about the size of one, plus there are the tabs on top. As for the color, the painting is a warmer color than appears on the screen, with more contrast, not very red in the "mouth"; however, the enlargement is too dark but closer in hue.