Tuesday, March 9, 2010
This is an example from a recent body of work where I am working with the simplicity of a "figure against ground" relationship. In my bird paintings I have found this format to be a good way to create effective contrast and a means of setting a strong, colorful pattern. The idea of placing a kinetic form in a static frame has created a challenge in showing a sense of movement and energy. While this is a challenge it has also given me a certain freedom with the formal elements of the image. For example, the form can be painted and then corrected or placed differently and this process of change can be allowed to play the part of fixing a reality that itself is ever changing ..... the bird is moving. I have found that painting with acrylic paint is suitable for this aesthetic sensibility, as it sets up quickly and can be painted over or drawn back in to. You can see in the hummingbird image the reassertion of mapping lines that help to give the form its freedom and sense of movement. I will typically start with an abstact pattern that is laid down and allowed to dry. I may create many of these abstractions which set the foundation for the more realistic depiction that will later be developed. Again, the figure against ground relationship then serves to give emphasis to the color patterning and line work in the bird form.