Robert Winter, 2008
Acrylic on Stretchedt Canvas
24" x 24"
Giclee Print: $550
On Sheet Canvas, Unframed
Framed Original: Not currently for sale
This painting involves an evolution of some techniques I've been inching along toward for quite some time now.
In the early 1970s, a painter made such a strong impression on me that even though in the intervening years I forgot his name, I never lost the urge to try something along the lines of what he had done. That painter was Wayne Thiebaud, who nowadays seems to be best known for his brilliantly colored renditions of food, particularly desserts in cafeteria display cases.
Thiebaud's blue shadows struck me in particular. When I looked at his work, I envisioned a chromatically vibrant new kind of painting based on a "tilted color wheel," in which all colors would tend toward blues and purples as they got darker, and toward yellows and oranges as they grew lighter.
A number of Thiebaud's paintings, including certain ones of baton twirlers in parades, also flirted with the possibility of selectively eliminating the boundary line between figure and ground, particularly in their lightest parts and shadows.
I've very deliberately chosen to advance both techniques in this painting, and I like a number of the results.
In a paradoxical way, eliminating boundaries between figure and ground seems to increase the sense of a subject's physical presence. There's a heft and tangibility to the subject--and yet at the same time, there's a pronounced lightness.
In fact, the light in this scene is almost a tangible presence in its own right.
Since most of the predominant forms of image-mongering in today's world involve diect projection of color and light via a screen, I feel that by using this technique, I'm helping in some small way to give painting a fighting chance of holding its own against them.
I also like the opportunity this technique gives me to depict non-celebrities as "people of light"--extraordinary and worthy of notice in their own right.
To me, this model exudes the grace and tone of an accomplished gymnast.
© COPYRIGHT 2008 ROBERT WINTER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.