Thursday, June 19, 2008

Laura, Cusp

"Laura, Cusp", 30"x24", oil on canvas, is a painting I completed yesterday that deals with narratives beyond the foreground of the painting. I have used this technique many times before...I love large swathes of negative space, paralleled with strips of detail set back or to the side.

Laura is a woman of many hats. She is always experiencing life to the fullest at any given time. She always seems poised on the edge of some new venture or project. She cultivates growth and change for herself. She is not complacent or inert. She is a thinker, a doer, a wise woman. Thus I wanted to depict her as though she is about to take a step, a leap even, figuratively speaking.

Laura tried some different postures for this painting. The composition was in my head for many weeks before we met to shoot reference. I get ideas in my head and they stay there, fermenting, not letting go. They do take hold and this is a good example of this in action. I liked how she knit her hands together and had an anticipatory energy to her. I wanted to capture that anticipation in her limbs.

I plan on switching to water soluble oil soon...regular oil is quite toxic. Simply for the ease of cleaning up is another reason for switching. I used water soluble oils in college and really enjoyed them. There was virtually no difference. It's an expensive transition but I must do it sooner or later.

“Ideally a painter (and, generally, an artist) should not become conscious of his insights: without taking the detour through his reflective processes, and incomprehensibly to himself, all his progress should enter so swiftly into the work that he is unable to recognize them in the moment of transition. Alas, the artist who waits in ambush there, watching, detaining them, will find them transformed like the beautiful gold in the fairy tale which cannot remain gold because some small detail was not taken care of.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

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