A New Painting: "Signs"

Signs, egg tempera on parchment, 6 1/2 x 5 inches.


Working on this painting was a breeze and a joy. For some reason, it went easily and smoothly, the layerings of color changing, but with fun rather than with struggle, as is more often the case. I tried the blue at different values and ended with a stronger color than at the start. I played with the long shadow, finally finding that scumbling a lighter warmer green over a darker gave a greater sense of transparency. I painted the yellow several times until the value looked in balance with the large green plane. For me it's a jolly painting, even with the danger sign. But I also feel that it's closer to work I was doing a year ago because of the composition and level of detail. I like the tension formed by the cable stretching across to the pipe, but maybe it has too much of the 'realistic' as opposed to the 'real' in it.




Another reason this painting seemed so pleasurable to work on is that it is painted on top of a failed struggle. I worked for 3 or 4 days on another image on this panel. It did not go well: the composition wasn't quite balanced, so I kept changing it around; the color and light looked off no matter how many times I adjusted them. Finally, I realized I was so uncomfortable with the work that I wiped it off the panel, which turned out to be just the right size for Signs.