February 1, 2014

Store Fronts Leaning Left

The last oil painting I completed of a store front reminded me of a crispy, sugared cookie. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was the crunchiness of the decayed bricks, or the bright greens and reds on the surface that looked like confectioner’s icing or color sprinkles. Or maybe I was just hungry when I painted it.

There was a long wire looped around the facade of this building. A choice had to be made. Leave it out or leave it in? My husband voted to leave it out. I left it in - not to assert my independent aesthetic judgement vis a vis my husband, but because my background in dance and calligraphy has left me with the inability to resist a calligraphic mark. And the wire across the building whipped around in a very dance-like calligraphic fashion. So I painted it in, the sinuous line half painted and half carved with a palette knife.

Another thing that I noticed about my series of buildings is that they are mostly lopsided. Part of this was caused by actual building tilt, another part by picking up on lens distortion, and thirdly by my failing eyesight. Decisions about these imperfections had to be made. I’ve always liked periodic dissonance in music, like what can sometimes be heard in a Benjamin Britten work. This pickle of a note in an otherwise sweet melody reminds a listener that all is not perfect in the world. So I decided to keep the lopsided buildings for now. I can always change my mind and repaint them depending upon just how much of a skewed view I can continue tolerate.

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