October 21, 2010

A New Painting: "Three Hoses"

Three Hoses, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 5 1/4 x 6 inches.

Three long cylindrical shapes, which happen to be hoses, crisscross a surface; the hoses a pinkish color, likely faded from red, the surface orange-red; all is capped by a metallic colored curve. I like the snaking movement of curved lines, both resting and floating on what looks like a very gently curved plane.

This detail is to show some of the surface texture, the way I used the brush and paint. This was one of those paintings that had me in despair at its midpoint. Below is what the painting looked like before the final layers of paint, after I had laid down some layers of the red background color. I had worked and worked on it and at the end of the session, it looked completely lifeless: the color, the brushwork, the surface, all dead. (it may not look so bad in reproduction, but believe me, it was awful.) By adding some cadmium orange to the color mix, which brightened the color, and by scumbling a lighter value over the darker red-orange, the surface came back to life. The lighter color added a semblance of shine, and the brushstrokes gave a subtle variation to the color. Phew! I guess it worked out okay.


  1. As always, fascinating to follow your detailed self-scrutiny...a process, apparently alien to all those rabid Tea Party candidates.

  2. Julie, I believe it's important to maintain a self-critical faculty while making art, and I like sharing my thoughts and doubts.

    I had to laugh, too, when reading your comment; I scrupulously avoid politics on this blog, but you've added political philosophy in a very sly way. Yes, openness and thoughtfulness are not in great supply these days.

  3. This might be one of my favorites of yours, as I really like the dynamic movement created by the three hoses and also how the colors and shadows sing.

  4. Thanks so much Mona. I've been looking at the painting, hanging in the kitchen, which isn't the best spot for it. Your comment makes me want to move it immediately to a better viewing space.