Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Yin/Yang
18 x 20 Oil on Linen
Private Collection

Sharing a studio can have unintended consequences. Elizabeth set up this still life and did a magnificent painting called Rising Sun. Since our studio at that time could only accommodate one still life setup I cheerfully took up residence at the back of the studio and began reworking an old landscape. As I turned away from my painting I was struck by my view of her still life. From where she was painting the objects were in perfect harmony, but from my view they made no sense. I saw harmony not in the physical objects but in the abstract design. From her view she had created a powerful abstract design that supported her subject, but from my view there was no subject to support. There was, however, a marvelous balance of lights and shadows, patterns of colors, shapes and angles, push and pull from front to back and side to side. It was dissonant and harmonious at the same time. I had to paint it though I was in uncharted waters. We have often discussed the importance of subject matter but here the objects have no meaning, it's an abstract painting. "Art for art's sake" Whistler said.....

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