May 2, 2016

A New Painting: "Hidden Bolt"

Hidden Bolt, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 6 1/2 x 8 1/4 in.

I love shapes: their juxtapositions, their color, the way one balances or is in tension with another. Their taut, precise edges excite me; the light flowing over them carries an added drama. I am offering a defense of painting that is not painterly, not "expressive", not about the figure or narrative events, but is restrained and is focused on the formal elements of painting. I am writing this now because while this painting was in progress I felt a passion for its shapes, a delight and an exhilaration that reminded me why I continue with this subject matter. 

Hidden Bolt detail

And, there are metaphors within the most straightforward of images.
I paint, after all, for myself; if others like what I do that is a wonderful bonus.


  1. Beautiful work. Interesting that you feel the need to defend it- as formal as it might be it still carries plenty of intellectual weight with its mechanical roots. That said, I think a purely formal approach alone suffices if done well. One question- why egg tempera? Does tempera lend itself especially well to this style or is there another reason? Just curious.

    1. Thanks, Jon. I love egg tempera, its clarity and luminosity and ease of handling. Its translucence allows for richer color and I could achieve with alla prima oil paint.

  2. Delicious palette and provoking, enigmatic, shallowest of deep-shadows.

  3. Striking, with or without words.