I began this small painting of two figures breaking free of their constraints: chains to come. I used a canvas that already had a painting of a landscape that went awry, and I like the abstract element it adds to the work at this early stage.
I worked some more on my portrait of Sammie. This old dog breaks my already broken heart 💔 I applied various cool and warm shades to her coat and I more clearly delineated her eyes.
My work on this new painting made me want to look through a book on Pontormo by Salvatore S. Nigro to examine figure compositions. I was struck by the conveyance of silence found throughout the works. The silence is in the formal compositions of the paintings themselves and in the time and attention it requires to examine them. In The Visitations we see the saints communicating through glances. Even in a painting that would logically contain noise conveyed through screams we see dignity in silence. In Eleven Thousand Martyrs only three figures have opened mouths and their heads and bodies are shown with care and delicacy; they symbolize suffering nobly endured. No screams these, only loud sighs emanate from their lips. The viewer sees these images of pain and we are forced to contemplate them in silence, as befits their locations in churches, monasteries and hospitals. No unnecessary or necessary sounds, only the subjects’ and the viewers’ thoughts ricocheting back and forth, one to another. I hope to achieve something of this, one of the many beautiful aspects of Pontormo’s works, in my new painting, which is coming along (detail below) With this terribly warm and humid weather, I will have to reserve my painting times to early mornings and evenings, so I have enough ventilation in my studio.
I have been working on this figure from the Three Graces painting. The next time I work on it, I will soften the edges. The skin tone is warm to cool throughout, with the goal of having neither the warmth nor the cold be too prominent.
I am taking an inspiring course with the insightful artist Elody Gyekis who is mentoring a group of us to take our work to the next level. The monochromatic and color studies have been painted in the last two weeks while the portraits were completed prior to the class. ‘Cat’ won an award at the 93rd Juried Show at Phillips’ Mill. The award presentation was an awesome highlight of an otherwise difficult year.