Elizabeth and I will be in Paris on Saturday. I've been thinking back on other trips and made these 4"x4's. Last week a collector asked me about a watercolor sketch I did of a woman in red in the Degas room at the Musee d'Orsay (next to the Bellelli Family). I looked up the sketch and my photos from that time period and made this 4"x4" oil painting.
Below are two florists in the back of a shop on Rue des Saints Peres, lilacs in season.
Last week in class I fond myself explaining why I would move an object up and to the left and light it on the right. Also a student asked why I made the choice to soften the contrast with some stripes rather than enhance the contrast.
These discussions brought to mind to books that explore the effects of different formal choices in picture making: Molly Bang, Picture this, Rudolph Arnheim, Art and Visual Perception.
I met Art and Visual Perception in grad school, and was delighted and relived to find clear explanations of why pictures look the way they do and read, clearly catalogued, the many ways of "solving" the "problem" of two demential visual representation.
Molly Bang's Picture This effectively illustrates the effects of various compositional choices.
I am currently reading (it would be more accurate to say occasionally gnawing on) The Master and the Emmissary by Iain Mcgilchrist. I find the way that he writes about perception to be very helpful. Here's his RSA ted talk.
My Wednesday morning students are spending two weeks on a table top still life with more than our usual amount of negative space. Here are some similarly composed paintings and links to enjoy.
Matisse, Lemons on a Pewter Plate, 1926 (reworked in 1929). Oil on canvas, 21 5/8 x 26 1/8 in. from the Art Institute of Chicago. I chose a picture of this one in its frame so there is no mistaking the composition (lest you wonder if the grey sliver at the left is an accidental photographic crop).