Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Studio News

Most of my studio time in March has been taken up by the "Sonnets in colour" series – an attempt to translate into a painting each of 154 Shakespeare sonnets. I plan to start sharing the beginning of this series in mid-April, when twelve of them are complete.

Flowers "after Mondrian". 14"×11", Oil on linen, 2012
I will probably remember this March, however, for an interesting experiment, undertaken in-between the sonnet paintings (albeit directly related to them). This experiment was inspired by "Mondrian Games" initiated by Marie Helene Visconti on Google+: I painted a very specific and individual bunch of flowers from life, while at the same time keeping in the focus of my mind the geometric abstractions and primary colours of mature Mondrian. I believe every artist must experience and deal with a tension between individual visual impressions and abstraction demanded by painting; the experiment I set up for myself brought this tension to an almost unbearable degree: the alive flowers before me simultaneously submitted to and enriched the geometric structures; it was like trying to find a balance with a heavy weight in one hand and a thin glass in another.

Flowers. 10"×10", Oil on linen, 2012
These two floral paintings represent two approaches to this experiment. The still life with a sketchbook below is an attempt to integrate the insights obtained in the course of this experiment into my work in general.

Still life with my sketchbook. 14"×11". Oil on linen. 2012

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