The Laws of Nature

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Size matters!

Planning a painting includes serious consideration of the scale. A very small painting will force the viewer to be drawn-in and spend some time studying the work, which is a more intimate experience. A mid-size painting, like most that I do, allows the viewers to stand 2' to 6' away to get the full impact, and is a good size for work that hangs in someone's home. However, I've always been attracted to really large scale work that uses the viewer's peripheral vision to enhance the experience. It's impractical for me to paint at this scale on a regular basis because of my present studio set-up, and the difficulty in finding clients who want to collect at this size. But, it sure is fun! This painting, entitled Eggsistential, is 4' x 16' and was a heck of an engineering feat for my husband, who designed and built the stretcher for it. I did this painting for a solo exhibition a few years ago, but feel that there's still a lot I can add to it. A project for another day ...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The limited palette

Several years ago I took a Janet Fish workshop hoping to learn more about color. I think her paintings demonstrate a masterful understanding of color relationships and proportions. The best advice I got from her was to use a limited palette in order to unify my work, and to study the paintings of Wolf Kahn, among others who are masters of color. So, I created a template of palettes used in many of Kahn's paintings and then analyzed the proportions and placements of those colors. I soon learned to limit my own palette to only three or five colors, and to create other colors from those. This effectively unified my work. Every now and then I experiment with new combinations for my egg shell series by doing a few "studies" at a small size (8" x 10") that I can complete in one day. Here are a few examples of my efforts:

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Fibonacci Spiral

Lately, I've been very interested in applying Renaissance mathematical proportions to my work. As an exercise, I created these two paintings and will incorporate them into larger and more complex paintings. The composition is based upon the Fibonacci Spiral, which is constructed from the Fibonnaci Series that was formulated by Leonardo of Pisa (a.k.a. Fibonacci) who lived from 1175-1230 AD. This mathematical series is a system of expanding size relationships that are connected with the "Golden Section." It's actually a summation series, where each number in the series is the sum of the two previous ones, and any number divided by the previous one equals 1.618. That ratio is foundational to dividing the composition in order to establish the spiral. If anyone's interested, I can send you the details about how I applied this ratio to my paintings.