Monday, June 18, 2012

Hat Party

Hat Party
7" x 8"     oil on linen      2012
Private Collection, New York

Hat Party is done and awaiting its frame.

In my previous post about this painting, all the hats were finished except for the woman's on the right and I was about to decide on the color of that hat: blue or orange, or -- as suggested in the comments -- purple. I'd also made a decision that the woman in green would be holding a mirror, not a drink.

The drink had not felt right. I'd vaguely been considering whether to give her some sort of noise-maker to hold instead, or a party horn, but resolving the problem was not yet much on my mind. The mirror idea suddenly arrived out of nowhere, in a blink, and was the right solution. It worked both in the abstract -- allowing me to add an interesting shape and an extra note of color -- and in the narrative -- connecting the two women with a certain logic.

As for the hat, when time came to paint it, I went straight to mixing blues and found the right tones fairly quickly. I never seriously considered orange ... or purple, though that could have worked fairly well too. I like the triangle of bright primary colors -- red, blue and yellow -- spinning in counterpoint against the green.

Below is a comparison I made this evening using Photoshop; the only difference between the two images is the color of that one hat (and it's reflection in the mirror). It's always interesting to me to see how the change of a single color can dramatically alter the look and feel of a painting, can shift the visual experience.


  1. Andrew, you are of course absolutely correct about the blue color for the hat. I think the decision to include the mirror was inspired.
    The lady in the blue hat seems tempted by the mirror, as if falling into her own reflection, like ourselves when we are out of love and seeking escape.

    Another triumph among many others. Congratulations!


  2. Thank you, Gerry ... always good to hear from you. I very much appreciate your comments!
    best wishes, Andrew



"There is more power in telling little than in telling all."
- Mark Rothko

“The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meanings are unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.”
- Magritte

"Now, the idea is to get everything right -- it's not just color or form or space or line -- it's everything all at once."
- Richard Diebenkorn

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the mystery of the instinctive in the human race.”
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