|Edge Play 24"x 20" sold|
I had been thinking about something Robert Genn (of the Robert Genn Twice-Weekly Letter) had written in A Free Chapter of "The Painter's Keys" about making "lists or recipes...systems you use: plans, directions, techniques" when painting and then gives a sample recipe list. Among the many important ideas is defocus: "Paintings that are equally sharp and focused are boring. When we work from life, our eyes dart around the subject, focusing on each item, and this creates a problem. Real life is different....Your paintings will pick up life if subjects you wish to feature are sharper, and secondary elements softer". Then he goes on and suggests that by blurring some subjects and areas in your paintings you can "Create mystery and paucity. Paucity means smallness of number or quantity. In art it means the minimal expression needed to convey the form or idea." He talks about reinforcing negative space areas and suggests lost and found edges: "Evaporate some things and let the viewer's eye behold some mystery and excitement."
I began to look for those ideas (defocus, blur, lost & found edges) in the work of other artists and immediately thought of Henri Matisse. In his painting The Blue Window you see a collection of still life objects arranged on a rectangular surface in the lower third of the composition. Behind this is a window through which you can see a highly stylized voluptuous tree, some hills and sky with one lone cloud. All other parts are painted in varying shades of blue so that the distinction between table surface, interior wall, and outdoor three dimensional space is blurred, creating a wonderful play between figure and ground, reality and illusion. You can see similar ideas at work in The Red Studio and Harmony in Red as well.
|Tulips, Pears and Peaches|
|Really Big Pears|
What do you think?