Saturday, October 6, 2012

Why I Painted this Painiting

Heading Out
30 x 40
I'm reading "True to life: twenty-five years of conversations with David Hockney" by Lawrence Weschler.  
Hockney's intellect is what comes across most in the book.  The man thinks deeply about what he creates and why, and, refreshingly, he can articulate it in plain language. It's made me realize how fascinating it can be to read about artist's intentions.  So this post is about my intentions in "Heading Out".  It's a chance to go beyond the "how" of paint application and tackle the "why" of painting.

Talking about his swimming pool series, Hockney mentions that there is a thin skin on the surface of water which is where distortion takes place; if you go below that skin, there is no distortion.  Though I painted this before I read the book, I realized that "Heading Out" is about that thin, magical skin.  Above the water, it's a boy; below the skin, it's a loosely-grouped assortment of shapes and cool colour.  

Along with the distortion of the boy's leg underwater, what interested me when I planned this piece was the way the surface of water was both transparent and reflective, depending on where it was in relation to the viewer (and my camera).  In the distance, the water reflects blue sky while nearer to the boy's feet, the viewer is looking down into the depths of the lake, not skimming across the surface. The mingling of warm lake bottom and cool sky creates the illusion of depth - an illusion that is most apparent when you see the painting in life, not on the flattening computer screen.   There's horizontal depth, too, in the foreshortened perspective of the pose.  My husband said that he felt like he was wearing 3-D glasses because of the way the boy's foot protrudes toward the viewer - a comment I enjoyed.

Writing this has been a fun exercise and made me realize that my artist's statement could use some updating.  My intentions have grown beyond what they were when I wrote the statement a couple of years ago.  I'll add it to my list of things to do - another day.

Happy painting and thinking about paint!



Last Cup Of Coffee said...

beautiful beautiful painting!

Ingrid Christensen said...

Thank you for the kind words!

Fancy Dress said...
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