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   Welcome to my blog! I'll be posting thoughts about art, photos, happenings, and other things that strike me--and hopefully my readers--as interesting. And please visit my website by clicking the link to the right--thanks!

   Also please check out my second blog, The Painting Archives to see older (pre-2004) paintings for sale.


Friday, March 02, 2012
  white paintings


What I think of as my "white paintings" began back in 2008 during a residency at the Centre d'Art I Natura in the Catalonia region of Spain, as small works on paper. They seem to arise from the arid atmosphere of the mountainous region in late fall, as well as from the pale interior walls of an ancient hermitage building I liked to visit and draw. Later when I was back in my studio in the US, I found myself turning again and again to white and variations of white in my oil and cold wax paintings.

Many paintings later, I retain this fascination. Often, the underlying layers are saturate in color, or dark in value, hidden by the final few white layers which pick up only slight aspects of color from underneath. Sometimes, the white surfaces suggest snow, or rock, or old walls. Most consistently, white and its variations evoke for me a sense of luminous, weathered, aged surfaces, bleached by sun and time--pared down, subtle and quiet. Click here to see a selection of white paintings from the past few years on my website (there are others scattered throughout the various series listed on the paintings page.)

The painting shown above is the largest completed panel (48"x36") in an unfinished work that will be extended vertically with several other panels yet to be added. This painting and several others were inspired by inscriptions and markings on old parchment. A close-up of this painting is shown below.



This ongoing exploration of white (or pale) surfaces seems to me a case of content following form...a fascination with this particular color has led to so many variations in meaning. Of course it is hard to say which came first, the visual intrigue or the associated meanings, but I feel a sense of tapping something deep in these white paintings.
 
Comments:
I'd like to spend my whole day for looking at your white paintings which seem to have infinite depth.
Wish I was living over there and see your actual works.
Thank you for uploading the magnified part.
 
I share your fascination with pale surfaces that show hints of things from below...
That top painting must be just tremendous in person, at that size! Very impressive, I bet.
 
I'd love to see these in person, Rebecca. I'm a huge fan of Agnes Martin's white paintings and the Suprematist paintings of Malevich. There's little more contemplative than a complex white surface.
 
I love using white...I think it gives a sense of space, openess, and it sets up a wlonderful foil for subtle color. Like the way you paint over color with white and reveal the layers below.
 
Thank you everyone, for these interesting and thoughtful comments. White, minimalist images are so compelling to me, not only my own but those of other artists including the ones Alyson mentions--there is the formal beauty but also an emotional aspect.
 
I echo what was said..also want to add that I love the reworked website. Having your paintings grouped by "strand" is wonderful for the viewer to understand the connections. For followers of your blog it is fun to relive your journey through these groupings.
 
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