single panel paintings
In the past few months I've painted over a dozen 12" square single panel paintings--many were started during workshop demos (on flat panels that I later had cradles built to fit.) The fact that I had these in progress from my workshops fit in nicely with an increased demand for small paintings at several of my galleries, and I put a lot of time and effort into them. In the process I stumbled onto some new ideas for ways to divide the space, to make textures with scratched lines, and to integrate a wider range of color within the painting.
Now as I work toward my February exhibit at Circa Gallery in Minneapolis, I am interested in expanding these small, single panels insights to a larger scale. For example, the painting above, Old Garden Wall
, is 36" square. I felt fresh energy in treating this larger painting with the same attention to textural detail and a similar organizing structure as I have used in my smaller paintings.
I also realized as I worked on this that over the past few years I've quit thinking of middle-to-large sized panels as potentially complete by themselves. Almost without exception, my larger scale paintings have relied on multiple panels, bolted together, to create structure and contrast. In fact I've thought of this approach as what makes my work distinctively mine. If that's true though, it means being locked into using the multiple panels--and I really dislike the thought of being confined that way.
I still love the look of juxtaposed panels in my work--but I want to remember that is just one option, one choice, one tool in the toolbox. The strong geometric division created between panels is not always what I'm after. Sometimes, as in the painting above, I can enjoy a softer, more nuanced and flexible line. More choices are good!