October 22, 2015

A New Painting: "Blue-Green Rhythm"

Blue-Green Rhythm; egg tempera on calfskin parchment; 2 panels, each 5 x 5 in. 

When I was out scouting for images last spring and summer, I had a bee in my bonnet about finding some multi-panel compositions. I came up with ideas for two diptychs with fairly large panel sizes, and two others with 5 x 5 inch panels, one a four part and one a three part painting. Well....what you see above is what remains of the four panel idea; it did not work as four, but did as a diptych, I think. The diptych is painted on two of the three panels of a failed triptych, which I wiped away. In this painting I like the horizontal and vertical movement of the wide bars, and the repeated verticals on the left of each panel. The angles of shadow set up a different movement; I added the diagonal shadow and light on the lower part of the left panel to emphasize that tension (it was entirely shadowed in the source photo).

Blue-Green Rhythm panel 1

The color changed many times while I was painting this, always in this range, but going lighter or darker, bluer or yellower. The primary pigment was Phthalo green, a cool, bright green. The space of this panel is quite flat....

Blue-Green Rhythm panel 2

....while this one has some depth, so I'm not sure that they work perfectly well together. Is the contrast a good or bad thing? I tried switching the panels around, but didn't like that arrangement: I felt that the right side of the painting needed the exclamation point. So it often goes: making art is full of uncertainty.


  1. They are like a dance. There is a balance between them, but a contemplative movement, complementary, still, speaking of line, volumes, and cool negative spaces. These give me pleasure.