May 5, 2009

La Mei

The large commission that I wrote about in my previous blog is finally complete. "La Mei," the plum blossom of the winter, does retain the atmospheric quality of the initial grisaille but it was not without some whiting out and repainting of select areas of the surface. The spots of yellow at the base, originally elliptical, became increasing rounded as the painting progressed. The upper right corner was painted in a very gestural way, then tightened up, then trimmed up and loosened again. This is probably what the Abstract Expressionist meant by the dynamics of "push and pull" in a painting, even though this one is more Oriental than Occidental in feeling.
Because the dimensions of the painting are roughly a square, the work will probably appear in my upcoming exhibition, "Homage to Squares," as a surprise to myself as well as everyone else who expects to see only figurative work. The painting is too large for me to get far enough away from it in order to get a complete image, but the detail illustrated here gives a general idea of the use of paint and composition.
Since the opening of "Homage to Squares" is less than two weeks away, I will devote the next series of blog posts to the square paintings featured in this exhibition.

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