May 29, 2013

A New Painting: "Opening"

Opening, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 in. 

This painting is both symmetrical and asymmetrical. The asymmetry of the small patterned shapes throws the certainty of the opening's central position into question. When I was working on drawing the grid for the pattern of oblong shapes, I considered centering them along with the opening (they were not centered in the source photograph), but I decided that the image would be more energetic, stranger, a little more mysterious, if I kept it just as it was, slightly out of whack. The shape hidden within the opening adds another kind of shift. 

The other decision that I made was about color: how saturated, what value was the plane of reddish color to be? Most of my paintings have quite intense color, so I thought that I'd make the color of this one lighter and less saturated than is my propensity. I think it's a good idea for me to push against my inclination from time to time. 

Opening, detail

I had thought that painting the pattern of small raised shapes would drive me a little batty, but it turned out that the grid was simple to do and the shapes felt almost like a textile pattern, a texture on a flat surface. The image, I hope, maintains its simplicity in spite of its detail. 

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