November 5, 2010

A New Painting: "Green Blue Tilt"

Green Blue Tilt, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 5 1/2 x 7 inches

With this new work I'm back to a subject consisting of flat planes and simple geometry: triangles and tilted rectangles. I happen to like this kind of composition, although I realize that some of my friends prefer the more complex images. I played around quite a lot with the color, especially the rust reds, and considered leaving that color out altogether, but decided the red note was welcome. In order to keep the red in harmony with the blue shapes, I painted the large mass as a shape parallel to the thin red line, instead of a floating irregular shape as it was originally.

I got to a point in the painting when I thought I was done, but wasn't happy with the blue surface; it seems too flat and lifeless. So I went back and glazed some dark cobalt blue on top of the lighter blue, using my brush loosely and fluidly. The detail above gives a sense of the now slightly variegated color (keep in mind this is much larger than life size), which makes the painting more lively. The two shadowed indentations you see are imperfections in the calfskin parchment.

Below are two groupings of paintings hanging in the studio, as requested by a couple of readers. I had felt unsure of the painting Turning (center, below), but was reassured by readers; thank you! because now I see that its illusionistic depth works very well with the other flatter images, something I must keep in mind moving forward.


  1. Quite dynamic! And it's interesting that "Turning" gains more depth seeing it at a distance.

  2. thanks, Julie; I agree that the distance and the grouping with other paintings adds 'another dimension'.

  3. I love that unexpected twist and turn in the calfskin. This gives the
    surface life and irregular surface like flesh. This is what I like about
    grounding myself with collage first, then painting. It's not as scary for
    me to see that the surface is a little off beat. Great new paintings,

  4. Myrna, glad you like the paintings. There is something wonderful in working on a surface that has had life in it, bringing little surprises. I can understand your enjoying the not-smooth of painting on collaged paper.