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Creative Process

This blog will follow the process of my current project: a series of three 5' x 9' figure paintings called "The Feast of Venus". I'll be posting the preliminary drawings and oil sketches as I complete them, and possibly add some commentary along the way. I have just begun this project and am working on the first painting in the series which has the working title "Stirring the Pot". All images on this blog are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I spent my first hour of work today putting in the arm of the woman tasting the soup - not the one you can see but the one hidden in the shadows. Even though you hardly see that arm, I think it is very important to the painting. For one thing it expresses the unconscious mind of the woman tasting the soup. It is the part of her body she is not aware of: she is thinking about the soup and her interaction with the salter but the level of tension in that hidden arm and hand and its subtle gesture can either reinforce or contradict what she is saying with the attitude of the head which adds alot to the lifelike quality of the figure. Not that I achieved all that today. In fact, what I mostly did was struggle with the foreshortening and the incredibly close and subtle values - and then I wiped out most of it anyway.

It was a very exciting day though. After I gave up (for the moment) on the struggle with the hand I started working on the carrots (yes, that's what they are) and the figure on the right. A characteristic thing happened. As I worked on the front of the painting the depth from front to back began to open up. I saw a big conical volume with a circle uniting the salter's hand and the carrots as its base and the little negative space under the taster's raised arm as the apex. A moving volume, a vortex of energy, it brought a big compositional rhythm into the depths of the painting. I got so excited I couldn't paint and took a break; by the time I came back the vision had cooled and I couldn't get it down the way I wanted to. I still see it though and I think I'll be able to develop the idea as I continue this study. Meanwhile the other big rhythms are beginning to come in. I always put the most recent state of this study on my computer desktop and I keep seeing new possibilities emerging.


Anonymous nikolai Katz said...

I want one of your charcoals. what about your huge painting of dancing figures................. landscapes...................

3:42 PM  

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