Friday, December 31, 2010

Women in Art II: Preparing to Paint
30 x 40 Oil on Linen

Artists who painted illuminated manuscripts expressed their love of God. In the Renaissance artists painted for the church, after that for wealthy patrons. Early nineteenth century paintings glorified nature. Late nineteenth century paintings celebrated art for art's sake. The twentieth century focused on the deconstruction and finally the death of painting. The current art of the image is video. End of story. Well not quite. The rise of photography was expected to put an end to painting too. But painting coexists peacefully with photography, as it will with video and digital imaging and whatever else comes next. The question is not will painting survive, but what will the artists paint, and for whom, and what will they have a burning desire to express and glorify and celebrate in the 21st and 22nd and 23rd centuries.....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

White Roses
20 x 16 Oil on Linen

Edges. Artists, especially art students, think and talk a lot about edges. With great intensity they discuss the merits of soft edges and hard edges, warm and cool edges, edges between positive and negative spaces. They become very important as a compositional elements, directing the viewer over the surface of the painting as if guiding them through a maze. I don’t mind a good edge from time to time but I don’t see as many edges as most artists. In my paintings edges exist only where two planes meet. The top of a table meeting the front, for example, or the where the two side planes of a book meet. In White Roses the only edge is where the cloth lays flat on the tabletop and then drops over the front plane. There are no edges to the flowers or the vase, the leaves, stems or drapery. There is no edge to a rounded form. A rose has no edge. Many artists see an edge where the rose meets the background. The form, as I see it, turns away from the viewer but has no edge. It does not meet the background, there is space between the two. There is a change of color, value and texture where the eye loses the flower and picks up the background but it is not an edge. An edge would exist only if the flower were pressed against the background. The glass vase also turns and has no edge. Where the vertical plane of the vase meets the horizontal plane of the tabletop there would be an edge but that is hidden by the drapery. You might argue that my definition of an edge is a bit too literal, but I would say that it is not literal but liberating. By limiting my edges to true edges I allow my painting to express a greater variety of forms, more space, breadth and atmosphere.....