September 1, 2010

A New Painting: "Zigzag"

Zigzag, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 5 1/2 x 4 inches

When I began working on this painting, I felt as though I was designing a textile pattern, with its close repetitions of shape and linear format. And it's certainly different from the previous painting, Taut (center painting below), which is rather austere. When I'm decided which image to work on next, I generally choose to change the color and type of composition; this keeps the work interesting and challenging.

Below are three recent paintings hung together in the studio.
As always, you can click on the images to enlarge.


  1. what I love here is that, while at a glance it looks like (just another) stripe painting, it actually has an actual visual source you can see. this makes it rich in ways that a purely imagined work cannot reach. which isn't to say that purely imaginative works are limited, they just have different parameters.

  2. rappel, at times in the past I have tried to make non-objective abstract paintings––there are so many that I love––but because of my many years painting the world I see, I can't seem to leave that behind completely. These new works are getting to a balance between representation and abstraction that I'm finding very satisfying.

  3. Oh, Altoon, I love zigzag and rickrack which this brings to my mind. I see depth and movement here...and games the mind can play with the forms. I like it!

  4. If I did not already tell you I think Taut may be my favorite of all the paintings you've done that you've posted about. Part of it is the reds but it is more than that though I have not been quite able to distill it into words. And yes, I find that switching size, color, format makes a nice break between works and ups the creativity juices. This new painting reminds me of pasta (sorry) as well as textiles.

    I once made a pair of curtains that did not quite meet in the center. To solve the problem I added a ruffle in a different color. I used pinking shears and cut out a long row of deep triangles (still attached along one edge). I stitched the the ruffles to the edges of the curtains and they now meet in a row of intertwined dragon's teeth.

  5. hi Maggie and Linda, I love hearing about your textile references (pasta is good too). Those curtains sound like my zigzags.

    and thanks, Linda, for the nice comment on Taut.

  6. Wow Zig Zag is wonderful. A whole different feeling. I always want to spread out a blanket and lie in the sun when I look a your works. This one makes me want to stroll along the top row perhaps with a parasol, but then I get confused about what is happening to the surface of the ground as my eye runs down the painting. You shook up my expectations!

  7. Zig Zag!

    An entirely satisfying painting to my mind for so many reasons Altoon...

    need I say more...?

  8. hi Deborah, thanks for your summery comment. Should I divulge that the surface happenings occur because the "teeth" are on one cylinder, the smoother surfaces on another?

    and thanks, Sophie, glad you like this one.