21 December 2007

[no title]

Winsor & Newton CP 300 gsm, 10" x 14".

there is a certain style of abstract painting that builds on a dominant figural element isolated in a textural background.

here the bar is quinacridone violet and the background is green gold. i had expected the colors would mix to make interesting browns, but the violet was too dark to do this effectively. i should have used a magenta or rose.

i wasn't clear about how i wanted to related the figure and ground. i started with the bar figure detached, then diffused the ends with the idea of imitating the force lines on a bar magnet, and then just let the paint do what it wanted.

the flow pattern results from the cockling of the paper, which in turn is partly influenced by the way the paper is wetted. i haven't made a study of this, but the paint pooling along the edges here indicates that the outline was painted first, and the bar last.

i think this kind of painting is very hard to design. whatever the figural element does in relation to the background reads as a kind of action or force, and the shape, color, size, orientation etc. of the figural element has to be consistent with that action (e.g., bar = magnet = magnetic lines). but this "representational" linkage can't be too explicit, or the painting loses its abstract intensity.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Buckling paper can be used to advantage, as you've proven here. Why fight it? This almost looks Yupoish, works for me.