Sunday, March 15, 2009

An Excavation

Evening Pool
12 x 12
Available at Deborah Paris Fine Art


Most of this week I've spent preparing for and working with my online classes. As always when I teach, I am learning a great deal. Aside from the horror of watching myself on video, there is much to be gained by having to explain yourself to your students. One artist in my tonalism class commented this week that the process (indirect painting) felt like thinking backward. The more I thought about that, the idea of an archaeological dig kept coming up, except in reverse - building the painting from the ground up, but all along keeping in mind what will remain visible (transparent), what will be hidden (opaque) and what will be obscured at some point in the future -creating an optically complex surface which suspends all those layers in a single perception. The viewer is, hopefully, excavating visually, peering through layers of paint and time.

6 comments:

Pettinari said...

Very beautiful and mysterious paintings!

Loriann Signori said...

That's an interesting way to look at it Deborah. It is really so complex and a whole different way of looking at painting (at least for me).
The illusion of complex luminous light you create is beautiful.
When you paint plein air what is your process?

Deborah Paris said...

Thank you Pettinari!


Thanks Loriann!

Anonymous said...

May be you know these two french symbolist painters: Henry Le Sidaner and Jean jacques Henner whom like crépuscular atmosphères in their paintings. Emile Claus, a belgium painter, also had painted this kind of landscapes with moon réflections in water.( sorry if my english isn't very good) Cordially.

Patrick Gracewood said...

Sounds like you are teaching pentimento awareness.

I don't know it with painting. I do know it with carving wood. One must keep the goal in sight while relishing all the process stages, saving any lucky turns without being precious or too controling. quite a tightrope act....

of pen·ti·men·to (pnt-mnt)
n. pl. pen·ti·men·ti (-t)
An underlying image in a painting, as an earlier painting, part of a painting, or original draft, that shows through, usually when the top layer of paint has become transparent with age.

Deborah Paris said...

Hi Patrick. Funny you should mention that- I am working on two books and the working title of one of them is Pentimento. It also means "little repentances" in Italian, so it works on many different levels for me.