October 11, 2010

A New Painting: "Simple Shapes"

Simple Shapes, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 4 1/2 x 6 inches

This painting, with its very plain composition, sidles up to my beloved minimalism; after working on more complex images, I find it refreshing to paint broad flat shapes, though it is not at all easy. I don't know if this happens to any of you artist-readers, but sometimes the struggle to render a form, to achieve a color, seems out of reach, as though I've forgotten how to do it. Some of the problem comes from certain pigments, which are transparent, so make it hard to get an even surface; some problems come from my putting too much egg in the paint, which makes it dry slowly and lift off as I apply the brush. Very frustrating. Perseverance does eventually pay off, though. I like this painting, and its severe design, but it might not be everyone's cup of tea.


  1. nice light. what interests me here is that I can't locate this configuration of forms - it's elusive. it could be found in a house, or it could be found in a barn or warehouse: non-specific specific. the surfaces count and the light counts, period. very direct.

  2. It"s my cup of tea. I understand how difficult the choices are while trying to be simple, straight forward and direct. This is a beautiful painting of
    a mysterious shape or place. Because it's painted in yellow and yellow
    ochres certain attributes are surrendered to the whole. The warmth of it
    makes me want to know where and what.

  3. Thank you, rappel and Myrna, for your fascinating comments. I hadn't thought of the aspect of the image being elusive or mysterious, but I like that it is. I only vaguely remember the machine that was the origin of the shapes; all I know is that it was on a farm.