Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Red Dahlias

Red dahlias. 12"×9", Oil on canvas panel, October 2012

Another day, another painting to release...

I am beginning to cherish this little daily routine of looking through my catalog for a work to list on Daily PaintWorks today, and then looking for words to say about it. 

Unlike many people in the "daily painting" movement, I don't release freshly completed works for sale. Partly, it is a technical issue: mine are oil paintings, without any fast-drying mediums, so they need time to be able to travel safely. But more importantly, I want to gain a distance from the painting process, to be able to look at it from the "outside", to put myself in the viewer's shoes. And sometimes this cooling period results in the painting going back to my in-progress pile, because it doesn't seem to fulfill its promise. 

This one, though, I am ready to let go. I like its straightforward contrast between two bunches of dahlias in the bouquet: the more earthly treatment of the foreground flowers, with brushstrokes mirroring the movements of petals vs. the dissolution of their background sisters into fiery color, threatening to overflow the panel. The foreground flowers are earth-bound and about to lose their petals; not so with the background ones: these are, in Shakespeare's words, distilled and their substance still lives sweet       

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