Wednesday, September 30, 2015

As Long As It Takes (oil on canvas, 2015)

(Private Collection)
This is another variation on the subject in the previous post, this time with a green sky, a pink driveway and slightly different composition. I spend a lot of time working out the compositions of paintings, sometimes doing dozens of small thumbnail drawings with myriad variations in the placement of shapes within the frame of the image. I try to avoid compositional clich├ęs and I like there to be a little bit of tension created by an imbalance, like a syncopation in a piece of music that creates a feeling that everything could fall apart at any second. Life is like that sometimes. All the time, really.

Until We Meet Again (oil on canvas, 2015)

(Private Collection)
I did some drawings and a painting of this barn back in the autumn of 2009, shortly before the barn was razed. The structure was on a corner of the Front Ridge Road here in Littleton, a spot that commands spectacular views to the north toward Mars Hill and to the east into New Brunswick. My focus lately has been on using color as a means of conveying emotional content as well as a way of creating interesting (and, hopefully, beautiful) color harmonies that I haven't seen before. The idea is to divorce the colors from the objective colors of the observed world and to find ways to make them work together within the context of the specific image in a way that is harmonious, while simultaneously imbuing the image with personal, subjective content. Easier said than done, I can assure you, but this is one of two paintings that I did early in the year, based on the memory of this barn that had no wall on the eastern side.

Perfectly Imperfect (oil on canvas, 2014)

(Private Collection)
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or so they say. I'm not sure that I agree with that, though. It's true that what's beautiful to some might not be beautiful to others. We live in culture where we're constantly being told what is beautiful and what isn't (mostly by people that are trying to sell us something). Many people manicure their lawns and their bodies, exerting a tremendous amount of energy and resources to be able to appear beautiful according to an ever-changing, arbitrary standard. But there's another kind of beauty that appeals to me, and that's the beauty that's inherent in things when they are in their natural state, as they were meant to be. When we look at things without expectations, we can often see beauty and perfection in what may at first appear to be chaos and ugliness. It's the idiosyncrasies and flaws that make each and every person and thing unique and in that uniqueness lies true beauty.