A Long Afternoon, 36 x 36, oil on linen
Slowly but surely, my journey into abstraction is becoming familiar. I'm starting to feel at home slinging paint around in unpredictable ways. Getting to know my inner abstract painter better.
This is another painting which, like Going Home and Time and Again, was originally created for my solo show a couple of years ago. Below is what it looked like then;
As you can see, it's a lot more descriptive, and even has a hint of narrative. Many people have used the adjective Hopperesque when they saw this painting. It certainly has that mood, which I still like.
However, as my focus has shifted to less literal interpretation of a "scene", I could no longer leave the painting alone. It was just begging me to take it to new and unchartered (by me, anyway) realms of abstraction.
I started out by putting more paint on top of it, essentially repainting the same thing as what was there, just so I can work wet on wet rather than wet on dry. The reason is that my main concern was to integrate shapes and play with edges of adjacent shapes. Can't do that very well on a dry surface, so it had to have fresh paint all over the place.
As I progressed, a nagging thought came to me; it's the same problem I had on Going Home and Time and Again; too many statements. The top half with the compelling cast shadow patterns, and the bottom half with the Hopperesque narrative. I was trying tell two stories in one poem, and it wasn't working. Having two stories just meant that the impact of the painting was lessened by half. So after much bellyaching, I chose the top half as my story, and obscured the bottom part in the shadow.
In doing all this, I continuously tried to loosen things up and tried to put down notes that had nothing to do with the description of the "thing" I was painting. It's a fairly large canvas so when it's shrunk down to the size that I now see it on my monitor, it still looks too tight. But I'm done with this one. I did what I set out to do, and I'm happy with it. The physical quality of the paint surfaces doesn't translate in a photo, which is too bad because that's where a lot of the magic happens.
I have a few new pieces (that is to say, not reincarnations of previous pieces) which are almost done and I'll share them soon - I'm struggling though. Abstraction may be becoming more familiar territory, but flying without a net is still freakin' hard!