Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cloud Chamber

Cloud Chamber, is an oil on canvas, 36" x 36" painted in late December 2008 and finished at the turn of 2009. It's hard to see in the small image above (click on it for a close up), but there is a fair amount of texture on the surface of this work. This is the result of starting the painting by using a layer of plaster which I scratched and marked in anticipation of the image that was to be painted after the gesso dried.

I enjoy using an agitated surface. I find that it lends a certain energy to the dynamics of the painting. The horizontal divisions are cut into the surface. By dividing the picture plane into sections I can force the image into a formal composition. The division lines are place in harmonic ratios to the square.

The subject matter is one that I return to often. A cluster of trees seen in the distance form a place of refuge in a big open space. The idea comes from seeing these copse-like groups in many farm fields. Observed from a distance, I see them as sculptural and like the way they set off the space around them. They are also kind of mysterious. I often wonder about what is inside... hidden animals? people? spirits? a gateway to another world???

This painting will be part of my Foster/White Galleries show in Seattle (June 4, 2009).