July 17, 2007

Seaside Village
oil on canvas
30" x 30"

Big Love

Just as Bill Hendrickson is learning in his HBO Big Love experiment, I've discovered it's one thing to make a painting that works well and another thing entirely to follow it up with another (and another) that relates to it. "Seaside Village" is an attempt to create a companion to "Cornwall Harbour" which I posted on the blog several weeks ago. I've since begun a third in the series which depicts a snakey stone fence that looks at the headland in "Harbour" from a somewhat different vantage point.

To work in a series like this means creating the paintings to "converse" with one another. As I'm composing them, I'm wondering what the subjects have in common and how they are also different. Then it's up to the viewer -- you -- to figure out what they're communicating and if it makes sense.

In this series, both works are the intentionally the same size, painted with the same palette and with a similar aim of showing the effect of light on the landscape.
"Cornwall Harbour," however, gives an early morning seaward view while "Seaside Village" looks inland on a sunny afternoon. And, the locale of both subjects comprises only a few hundred yards -- even though they look in different directions, they are related by the proximity in which I find them. Sound like any relationships you know?

How will #3 fit in with the other two? Stay tuned! I'll show you as soon as I've found out.

July 3, 2007

Five O'Clock Shadows
oil on canvas
24"x 30"

Bright Light, Dark Shadows

This painting is based on a smaller study I did in Vieques in April. It was an extraordinarily bright and sunny afternoon. I certainly wanted to capture the light as it danced on the twisted branches of this sea grape, but even more interesting to me were the shadows they cast in the sand.

The passing this weekend of my mom's twin (called Chrissie-nun by her numerous nieces and nephews), has brought me into some painful, dark spaces of grief. As in the painting, however, I'm rediscovering how light and shade balance one another. They provide a much-needed contrast in life.

Opposites are a match made in heaven. Whether it's a physical phenomenon or an emotional one, when it comes to light and dark, you can't have one without the other -- though not for want of trying! It's clear, as I can hear Richard Moss so clearly say, "consciousness loves contrast." And so do paintings!

And fireworks, too! Happy 4th of July! May this painting take you to the beach if you aren't there already.