November 18, 2015

A New Boxed Paintings: "Grays"

Grays, cover and box contents; egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 3 x 5 1/4 x 3/4 in. 

I've just completed another in my series of boxed paintings: small boxes made out of parchment, containing a dozen very small paintings. I paint the boxes based on a color or shape theme, such as Reds, Squares, Black and White, etc. For this piece I mixed grays, all from color, none from black or gray pigments, resulting in grayish-blues, grayish-browns, grayish-greens: a great range of hues.  

Grays, cover and inside

The cover is light in value, and the inside dark. Both have overlapping shapes and leave some parchment bare of paint.

Grays, paintings, side 1, ca. 1 1/4  x 1 1/4 in.

Grays, paintings, side 2

Because the parchment is translucent, after working on one side of the little painting, I hold it up to the light to work on the other side, in order for them to relate to each other. Sometimes it even seems as though the reverse side has an active part in the composition, such as in the second from the left on the top row. That green square is all that's painted on that side; the horizontal rectangle below it is painted on the other side. It's a challenge, a pleasurable one, to come up with a range of compositional ideas to fill the box.