50″ x 28″
Notes taken directly from my reflection journal, uncut and unedited:
The sculpture is from my thesis show, repainted yellow and hung on a chartreuse wall. I loved the flowing line of the arch form. It’s is similar to the arch of a human’s back from the shoulder blades down to the begininng of the butt. This cropped view has three zones, the sculpture itself, the darkest shadow and the fading shadow. I liked that the lower part of the darker shadow curved in while the sculptures curved out. The chartreuse latex paint is very thin and transparent so I painted a coat of green initially planning to completely cover over it with the chartreuse, yet in painting it I enjoyed seeing some of the green. I roughly, with somewhat cross hatching brush stokes, painted two light coats of the chartruese. It replicates some of the shadows without having to paint each. The darkest shadow zone also had oblong highlights which remind me of what streets light highlights look like in between tree branches and leaves on the ground at night. It produces transclucent highlights, flecks of light which sit on top of the ground. They are hard to place spatially and I’ve been wanting to attempt painting them. I kind of have the effect, yet still need to work at it to achieve what I’m altimately after.
There are three zones in this painting, left chartrues-yellow, middle green shaddow and the sculpture itself. I’ve noticed that I tend to crop compostions where there are three zones. I also enjoy letting the paint do what it does especially when layering with glazes letting the paint run down. Galkyd light is thicker and seems to dry faster than the thiner linseed oil. I go back and forth from the wall allowing the paint to run while hung and laying them flay or semi flat on a table. Flat makes the runs spread out if it’s too thin and/or freshly painted just like too much paint runs off onto the floor – I’m still figuring it out.
I also notice that I don’t spend much time laboring over color choice with these paintings. The photos choose the base colors and I let the flow or spirit of the day/muses or whatever you want to call it, choose AS I paint. It really does paint itself using my hands?
I missed on the perspective of the coils and spiral wires in the upper left. That could have been a powerful jolt of depth. And the shadows of the coils in the darker shadow are a bit sloppy. They lack the appearance of ordered springs. They look a bit too random. They should be more of an elongated/stretched out pattern.
This on shows the bedsprings a bit too literally perhaps? Maybe potential patrons do not want mattress springs on their walls?
What stories might these paintings show?
A few of the previous paintings take on a narrative based on the formal aspects seen due to how I cropped the pic/composed the composition. I cropped the pic to emphasize the arch / get rid of too much mattress spring and light shadowing.
Is there something more than the formal going on?
By highlighting the circle tops of the coil springs, they become detached floating shapes, a design element which carry hue and align in patterns creating movement and/or ryhthm. There is a whimsical feel to the interplay of simple shapes and identifiable colors especially as I play games with color by always including an out-of-place color such as the blue line connecting/completing the arch and the saturated red also on the arch. It’s playful and shows the joy of oils (runs, glazes) with the hues from each zone “invading” each other eliminating any thoughts that I’m going after realism and ensuring an abstract read using bedsprings as a ‘jumping off’ point. The ovals in the darker shadow seem to be playing more hardely or randomly than in other places, they have their own thing going on and compete to grab the viewers attention. The shadows to the right, the thin yellow yellow vertical strip fall in line and serve to echo or support the idea of ryhthm and secondarily, shadow.
What is challenging about the piece?:
I’d like to say, the composition which is fairly typical of these paintings – three main zones (especially on the vertical compositions, yet I usually go for odd numbers). The strips of pure, unrelated/incongruent colors such as the blue and red lines echoing the arch lower curve. The runs of yellow on the entire right 5th of the piece. They call attention to the flatness and deny any 2-D illusion created by the overlapping, ovular shapes and percieved shadow in the lower middle. The warm magenta frame and how it looks similar to the blue backed red curved stripe along the main arch. The scattered focus trying to reveal the arch. color differences help this
What’s being investigated?:
The creation and denial of depth is part of what I’ve always persued with my art. The coil springs of a mattress have this ‘build in’ and the shadows are rich with potential for it. I get to add colors to the challenge and in many ways, color IS what can create and deny depth. It is inherent in hue. I am also investigating oil painting techniques such as glazing and allowing the paint to run in fact, intentionally causing the paint to run. It is enjoyable to create the shadow of a spring by painting the lighter negative spaces aroung the springs’ shadows. The patterns the actuall coil springs in rows make compared to the ovular, wobbly shapes of the coil springs create pattern “zones” which I look for when I take the pictures of the sculptures.