Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Orona and T'Noh

Orona, 2009, oil/panel, 9" x 11.5" and T'Noh (below, same medium/dimensions) are two examples of my smaller works.  I keep a supply of smaller panels in my studio for times when I'm working out ideas and don't want to try them on a large scale just yet.

There are also times when the more intimate scale achieves what I want to express better than a grand size.  Small paintings require the viewer to get up close.  This changes the relationship in ways that make the viewer aware of the artist's intensity.  A small painting can be just as powerful and effective as large ones.  The term "intimacy" is really quite appropriate.

In my case, small sizes equate with speed of execution.  This includes rapid changes to the overall composition and gestural marks.  These little ones begin with a quick smear of oily paint, usually I start with a dark color.  Fast energetic strokes of brush and rags quickly set up the energy of the piece.  Once the energy seems to be right I look for a clear composition that reflects the theme that has inspired the work.  In short order I have resolved the overall structure and the light in the work.  What remains is defining just enough details to make the thing work as a whole, to suggest complexity without belabouring the painting is best.