February 13, 2016

A New Painting: "Tall Red"

Tall Red, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 9 1/4 x 6 1/2 in.

Red is a difficult color because it is both dark and intense: go too light in the lights and it becomes pink; go too dark in the shadows and it loses life; it's quite a balancing act. On top of that, for me red is incredibly tricky to photograph. I hope all my paintings look better in person than in an online image, but with red images I'm sure that they do because subtlety is lost in a photo. This painting is the first in a group of four vertical images that are primarily one color. I like the big empty middle––empty except for light and shadow––a tall cylinder flanked by buttresses and topped by circular disks. 

Tall Red detail


  1. First I have to say what a pleasure to be one to witness this artist work. I find myself at first speechless in the presence of this artist work. Then in the same breath I can't stop the words from flowing about Altoon's painting and especially with this piece. The light on the red cylinder just radiates within. The way the light moves into shadow is as if I was looking at a master like Titian or Botticellis handling of light and shadow within thier large paintings. What simply boggles the imagination is that this work is under 12 inches. So when they say size is important this work only goes to show that very large and powerful paintings can be found in dimensions under a foot. This work rocks my very soul....Thank you Altoon

  2. Beautiful; I like red and the reds. It appears larger than the dimensions indicate, as if it's a monument. There's a mystery about it, which I like, too.

    1. Thanks so much, James; those are qualities I am happy to have in my work.