Tuesday, May 27, 2008
"Carly, Resting" is oil on canvas, 24"x24" is a painting that treats the negative space with as much compositional consideration as the figure. I do love painting people in repose, yet with something else affecting them. Rarely do I paint people strictly sleeping. There is always an undercurrent, a thrum of some other influence going on in their lives. I do not know what Carly was thinking while I shot the reference of her. It is unimportant. It is known only to her, yet it is important in it's own right.
I enjoyed painting the balance of black and white in this piece. It can be seen simply for what it is, the subject in black with a dark floor and a white desk, or, it can be viewed symbolically as well...in whatever permutation the viewer applies to their individual interpretation.
Carly and I met at the local library here in Burlington. It is a building quite close to me...having walked its halls from childhood to the present day, there is a strong feeling of nostalgia for the place. However, the majority of the building has been given a gigantic face-lift in the past few years. I cannot say I like the changes; the building's countenance from the street resembles that of some foreboding bunker, a building that looks modern for the sake of being modern. I know that there has been some divided opinion about the new design and I can understand why. I will take pictures of it the next time I pass by and post them. Regardless, it is a place with good lighting and the freedom to move about and seek unique compositions. As soon as I spied the desk I thought it might be interesting to paint Carly from my familiar "satellite" viewpoint.
I speak about black a lot and I must mention one quick anecdote here. I remember studying painting with Katharine MacDonald at Sheridan as well as at Dundas Valley School Of Art. When she informed us that we were not permitted to use black in her class I felt my stomach sink. How was I going to make black? Of course colour theory tells us how, but the doing of it, the mixing of it successfully, seemed unattainable and some sort of creative pipe dream. However, with time and practice, we learned different balances of hues to accomplish this initially formidable task. I would never dream of using black out of the tube now...I still have that tube of black from first year college...gathering dust in the back of my paintbox.
“Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art.”
~Frank Lloyd Wright