Monday, November 12, 2012

Irises series

Everyone is cleaning for Passover. 24"x20". Oil on linen.
In today's Studio News post, I want to summarize a small (five-pieces) impromptu series of Irises I did last month. There were two "reasons" for this series: on the one hand, I felt like I needed Irises, with their intrinsic deep melancholy and blueness for the twenty eighths sonnet painting; on the other, I had never managed to paint irises close-up to my (remote) satisfaction, so I wanted to try and approach them again.    
At the moment, each has a (sub)title intended more as a mental note to myself, so that I don't forget the poem which has inspired each painting's specific rhythms. This one, above, "Everyone is cleaning for Passover", is the largest in the series. 

Verona. 16"x8". Oil on panel 
This one is the smallest (its subtitle, "There is no world without Verona's walls", doesn't even fit into a caption). This is the only one in the series that explicitly grounds irises in a vase and on a table, with an attempt to contrast the solid, almost cubistic, geometry of the lower triangle with the fluid sorrow of the flowers.  

A relatively large lower area of ocre, and the light at the top right, keep the blue/violet area relatively homogeneous, with limited internal contrasts. 

Twilight. 14"x11". Oil on linen
The next one, called "Twilight", represents a more impressionistic approach, focusing almost solely on color and light. It is also the only one with the strong presence of greens. All in all, it is rather a color study than a self-standing painting, a study into the variety of blues, their hues and tints, and its contrast with the three opposing colors, yellow, red, and green. 

Dreams. 12"x12". Oil on linen panel.
This one, called "Dreams we used to fly in" is a compositional approach to two major paintings of the series, the "Everyone is cleaning for Passover" above, and the "Sonnet 28" below. Its yellows and reds, however, are too warm and cheerful for my  intentions. Both larger paintings reduce this warmth substantially. "Everyone is cleaning for passover" retains a closer touch with the visible fluid shapes of Irises, whereas "Sonnet 28" almost completely transforms them into more rigid geometric shapes, in search for the essence of sorrow.   

Sonnet 28: When day's oppression isn't eased by night. 20"x20". Oil on linen

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