A Pivotal Moment

48″ x 36″

Notes taken directly from my reflection journal, uncut and unedited:

Always experimenting. I’ve been staring at another painting of mine, Falling Up which is hung in my living room. I like to hang my pieces in my home after I think they’re resolved most of the time finding ways to improve them. I also put them as my background on my laptop. I find that if I’m looking at them so often here and there as opposed to in the studio, my mind tends to perceive alterations to them spontaneously. I’ll suddenly out of the corner of my eye see a new color or layer to be added, embellished or subdued. It’s a wonderful way to allow the painting to paint itself without so much control.

One day I noticed and through playing visual games, I perceived parts of Falling Up to have physical layers and began imagining how I might accomplish this physically ON the painting itself. Because this is a wood panel, it made it fairly easy to simply add layers of the ¼” plywood on top of an existing panel I had. I projected a selected image onto a 4’ x 4’ sheet of plywood and drew out the shapes I believed could provide extra dimension to the final piece then I cut them and glued the on and began the process of painting similar to how I have been doing with this series. Funny, yet frustrating thing happened in the drawing out and cutting process. Despite my experience in working with wood and tracings, I still managed to cut the pieces backwards which meant I had to flip the image horizontally in order to trace it onto the wood panel. I didn’t want to do it that way, yet didn’t want to cut new pieces AND in the end, it won’t matter. I love problem solving and enjoyed the challenge of making the new composition work. For this to happen here I decided to turn the painting 90 degrees each time I worked on it so I wouldn’t get stuck or too satisfied with how it looked one way over another. It makes a big difference as far as a title goes when you see it horizontally instead of vertically or upside down. Each says something different to me, title-wise.

I very much enjoyed the layered pieces of wood on top. They help emphasize what I saw in the actual picture. I especially enjoyed the challenge to visually deny the physicality of the shapes. The line between the burnt tomato orange color and the medium gray runs over two of the glued on panels. AND that line, in the lower right part of the painting can cause a visual flipping to occur. The shadow begins at the border between the orange and gray and as it is such a straight line, you can trick your mind into seeing it as a 90 degree angle vertically as if it is the way it is in reality – the floor meeting the wall. HOWEVER, I cause that to flatten where I painted the negative spaces in lighter grays and oranges over the top of the glazes. The glazes are glossy and the oil paint over it, especially if I use it straight from the tube (no medium), it has a very flat finish. This FINALLY begins to accomplish one of the goals I’ve had for this series which was to imitate the odd visual effect of what the light from a street light does when it shines threw and onto the shadow of a tree. It creates these odd, blurry negative shapes which literally seem to float above or on top of the shadow. This mainly happens at night, yet can happen to the light of the sun when you are under a thickly leaved tree. Shadows are amazing places!