I now have these twelve of large-scale paintings, all completed over the last year. They all are acrylic/mixed-media on unstretched canvas, approximately 6’x9′.
There’s quite a bit going on with these paintings for me, though I find them deceptively simple in appearance. In fact, that simplicity was one of my initial thoughts about them: a seemingly straightforward and unassuming figure at a large scale. As a reminder of that scale, here they are with my usual yellow ladder as a scale reference.
It’s no accident that the figures are in quiet, inward-turned, contemplative poses. These paintings are adamantly not about the outward focus of social media (and yet, here I am), social art-making, or community. I am thinking about inward focus and contemplation, but on a heroic scale.
Of course, there’s more to it than that. I like the individual, compacted, inward-turned figures because they hold a sculptural interest for me. I am enjoying the bluntness of the visual message.
And there’s also the fact that these are drawing-based. That’s why they’re on unstretched canvas, hanging flat against the wall like a piece of paper or parchment. That’s why they use a drawing language, that of line defining form. The last painting, the one on the right in the studio shot, was one in which I was exploring this idea more explicitly and more singularly, in a scale that relates to a paintbrush rather than a piece of charcoal. This particular piece is not quite finished but it’s close, very close.
Hi Barbara: I love these. The set-up as a series is terrific. The pallet. I am guessing you used the same model ,if you used one, for the whole series. I hope you will be able to show these all in one place. My favorite is number 12. Keep going.
Fanne, thanks so much. It’s always a good thing when one’s favorite is the most recent one!
I’m really loving the bottom row especially, Barbara.
Maggie, thanks so much. Like I said to Fanne (and am next going to say to Betsy) it’s always great when people are liking the most recent pieces. These are in date order so that last row are the four most recent, all in 2013.
You are so right about the impact of scale. Even on the computer screen, the paintings with the ladder for scale are much more powerful than the cropped versions (and the ladder appears to be the 8 foot variety too!).
Stay with it!
Tazio, Thanks for these comments. You’re making my case that the scale is vital to these pieces. I have been so surprised looking at photos of these pieces and realizing that it is well nigh impossible to ascertain the size of the piece from the photo, and the same seems to be true of my 6″x6″ pieces. Very interesting, and leaves me pondering scale.
I am impressed by the whole series, and Muse is also my favorite. I like how it only gives the provides a hint of the form and allows us to imagine the details. actually they all do, but somehow this last one has captured my imagination and keeps me thinking.
Betsy, I really find it interesting that people are responding to Muse. I was so unsure of that one as I did it…I *knew* what I wanted to do, but getting it there took a long time. That one is more worked than many of them are (though I’m not so sure it’s obvious just looking at it). Thanks so much for the nice comments.
I am so looking forward to seeing your new work during Open Studios. Your studio may be my first stop. I too love the last row but also #4. They are delicious. Ohh to have a wall big enough.
I look forward to seeing you, Susanna!
And, by the way, if by “#4” you mean the fourth one in the first row, the one with a lot of white, it’ll be front and center when you walk into my studio at Open Studios!