Tuesday, May 18, 2010

time away

Five days away from home included hours of solo driving across the Colorado Plateau and down the Mogollon Rim. The spaciousness of the land helped to clear my mind of the dozens of questions I had last week. With luck, that clarity will hold now that I am home. It seems so simple: paint beautiful surfaces, and don't worry about trying to represent anything. Work went well in the studio this morning, and the 8"x8" image here is one of the results -- a good beginning for a reddish piece.

Freeing my mind from rendering an object or scene allows my focus to concentrate on nuances of color and space. Today I was watching what happened when, over a rust-colored base, I layered a couple of transparent oranges in one area, and alizarin crimson in another, and then a swath of copper metallic paint on top. The glow of the oranges contrasted beautifully with the darker crimson, and the rust provided a firm base under all. The glint from the copper, plus its basic hue, added a surface richness that was unexpected. I found myself making gestural marks that rose spontaneously from the demands of the moment. It is a new way of painting for me.

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