September 20, 2011

A New Painting: "Middle Squiggle"

Middle Squiggle, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 5 1/4 x 7 inches.

Middle Squiggle was the working title for this painting; each image in my photo files has a title, some of which I change when I complete the painting. This image has a solemnity because of its very simple composition, but then there's that double curving line at its center, looking quite cartoonish. The two small bolts holding down the red planes at either side are small exclamations, "O! O!", or little eyes. So the silliness of Middle Squiggle seems to work.

I enjoyed painting the form of the curving shapes, moving into and out of the light, warm-colored forms, almost architectural, nestled inside cool triangles.

I am being completely honest when I say that I have no idea if this painting is a success. It may be too simplified to make sense, or maybe the balance of forms and color doesn't work. I do know that it's not a painting that has to go on the discard pile right away. I photographed it along with three other recent works to see how they'd look together. What is interesting to me is how different each piece in this group is from the others, in form and in feeling, so maybe this newest painting will pass muster.


  1. It is lovely, that's the word that comes to mind. It has innocence, and looseness of mark. I really like it and I like the grouping, it's nice to see a photo that shows how they work together.

  2. that's a dynamic group and the new one is a fine addition. it feels lacy - because of the pink perhaps. I like it a lot.

  3. thanks so much, Elaine and rappel. I wonder if the innocence and lacy feeling come from the fact that the original machine had a lot of texture on its surface, a spotting of rust and paint that I didn't want to depict specifically. And of course there's the pink.

  4. I love the color and energy of these new paintings.

  5. I like it - it is very different from the others, not as brilliant light... I like how it works with the others also, I like how my eye meanders up the squiggle.

  6. I see them as two pairs with the tie and squiggle related (both look like fabric) and the bottom two related via starburst shapes. The new one is also like Tied in that it is much softer in color and value. That squiggle just makes me want to reach out and touch it to see if it is soft or hard.