Thursday, March 21, 2019

A Prickly Situation

                              Goldfinch with Thistle,  Oil on Board, 10"x8"

As part of the series that places the bird with its food source, I placed this American Goldfinch with a thistle.  Initially, the composition as seen on the left had a single thistle hanging as to be dried.  My in-house critic found this unintelligible.  Questions arose: does the space need to be identifiable?, should the depth of the space be clear?, is this surrealism? realism?  My decision was to add more thistle.  The image on the right shows the beginnings of this approach.  

Thistle is the common name of a group of flowering plants with sharp prickles all over the plant.  The prickles are an adaptation that protects the plants from herbivores. The varieties are vast, some considered beneficial for pollinators. The thistle is the national emblem of Scotland, land of my maternal heritage. According to a legend, an invading Norse Army was attempting to sneak up at night upon a Scottish army's encampment. During the attempt one barefoot N0rseman stepped upon a thistle, cried out in pain, thus alerting the Scots. The spear thistle, presented here with the Goldfinch, is considered the likely thistle the Norseman stepped on.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Fertility, Pomegranate

Pomegranate, 2019, Oil on Board, 10"x10"
The uncertainty in this piece lies in the scale of the pomegranate.  They are in fact larger than life size.  This alone would not seem problematic except for the small scale of the overall piece.  As such, the pomegranate seems out of scale or too large for its environment.  Also, the left half wants to float rather than sit.  
"There is no must in art because art is free." Wassily Kandinsky

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Synchronized Swimming Carolina Wren, 2019

Synchronized Swimming Carolina Wren, 2019, Oil on Board, 12"x24"
Toward the end the challenge here was to have reflections that did not compete with the line of wrens above the water yet offered a balance and realism to the idea. This was the first time I worked with indigo blue, now my new favorite go to color. Indigofera tinctorial, also called true indigo, is the plant from which indigo dye comes.  It is the dye used in denim for blue jeans.  The dye is not light fast, which is one of the plusses of use in jeans.  The Winsor paint however is a synthetic pigment and will not fade. In 1997 when the Shakespeare Globe theatre was reconstructed in London, Indigo was used to paint the heavens of the theatre.