Friday, June 25, 2010

Whirling Peppers

Someone asked me recently, when they saw this painting as it was then, was it all one one big sheet of paper, and the answer is, yes, it is. In fact, the sheet of watercolor paper (300 lb. Arches Aquarelle) extends well beyond the painted area. The edge is visible at the top, just above the tube of paint.

The underlying design of this piece is the Golden Mean. The center square is flanked by two sets of whirling squares, the one on the left moving counterclockwise, and the one on the right, clockwise. There are some small areas still left white, but that is temporary.

The flower of the bell pepper is in the lower left corner, and the leaves on the upper right. The flower has six petals, and to some extent, the lobes of the peppers form a pattern of six, though that is subtle. The main geometry is the triangle.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bell Pepper in Process

I have to let the layers dry now, or suffer the consequences. Some colors are bleeding into one another, which I do not mind, but to preserve freshness I have to let the painting rest. If it was acrylic that would be a very short time, but with gouache it takes a little longer. Using the hair dryer is also a no-no with gouache.

Work in Process in Progress

Some bell peppers I have seen have three lobes, and some have four. I had the preconceived notion that each sort of fruit and/or vegetable had one geometric shape, but at least for fruits, such as tomatoes and bell peppers, there are variations. I believe the flowers are consistent, but that belief may also be corrected, who knows?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Strawberry Mandala

This piece is 6"x6", gouache on aquabord. I was struck by the similarity of the strawberry and leaves to the image of the Sacred Heart.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Reincarnated Drawing

The square black paper is really too lightweight for gouache painting, so I thought I would make square drawings using white pencil.

This is a version of a drawing I did ten years ago, which I named "My Problem". At that time I felt cut off from the source of inspiration, and my aspiration was enclosed in my too-solid self.

The original drawing is nice, but this version really glows.

Two Tomato Mandala ...

The gouache is drying, but very slowly. In this area we have a minimum of 75% humidity at the moment. Our climate tends to alternate weeks of wet and weeks of dry, so once it starts to dry out again I know the painting will finish drying.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Two Tomato Mandala

TIMELINE: May 26, 2010 I did the first layer of the Tomato Mandala, based upon a red tomato I got at a restaurant, which had four connection points. After that I sliced open another red tomato and it had five connection points. Then I tried a Beefsteak tomato, which had 8 connections to the outer flesh, and a Roma tomato has two.

A few days ago I shot and uploaded the finished Tomato Mandala.

On Monday I went to yoga class and my teacher, Constance, showed another student and me her newest drawing, which is 6 feet wide by 9 feet high. I was very excited by it. It is based upon the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I hope to post a video of her talking about it, later.

So today, I brought my Black Drawings (white pencil on black paper) with me, along with the Tomato Mandala, to show Constance. After class I stopped at the art supply store and looked for heavy black paper to paint on, as my black drawings made me think about how nice these mandala paintings might look on black paper. I was walking up to the counter to purchase a large sheet of black paper when this pad of black paper caught my eye. It is SQUARE! Perfect for mandalas!

I had purchased a yellow tomato and an orange one, so when I got home I cut them open and Lo and Behold they had each only three connections. So amongst tomatoes, I have seen two, three, four and five, as well as eight connection points.

Constance offered to keep a tally of the number of connections in the tomatoes she encounters, as well. I was planning to go on to my red pepper mandala (3), but this got me going.

The heavy black paper was not designed specifically for water media, but it took the gouache well, in a thick solution. I have to tip my hat to my sister Betsy, who suggested I might like working with gouache. It took a couple of years to get around to trying it, but I am really enjoying it tremendously.