Thursday, April 4, 2013

Interior at Night (initial concept)

After a run of small and intermediate sized paintings, I've been working on drawings for a larger and more complex piece: a composition of a woman in an empty room, with a window in the background open to the night sky. The final dimensions will be around 52 x 50 inches and I'm imagining the painting to be predominately tones of white with several smaller notes of dark color.

Interior at Night, drawing #2
18" x 17 3/8"     pencil on paper     2013 

The composition is a variant of a painting I did at RISD in 1969, Night in a White Room. I've always liked the image and often thought about making a new version, though have never done anything similar since then.

Night in a White Room 
12" x 18"     oil on canvas     1969
destroyed in 1974

The original idea was based on a dream and the young woman is someone I knew; she figured in several of my paintings at that time. Unfortunately, the painting was damaged by an experiment in varnishing that went wrong. After some additional damage that happened in 1974, it was destroyed.

Below is a photo of another painting of the same person; this one was based on reality and included a self-portrait. These are among the first paintings I did with figures, having transitioned three months earlier from making hard-edged abstractions.

D.C. Nightclub
72" x 60"     oil on canvas     1969
Private Collection, Connecticut

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"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

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- Richard Diebenkorn

“What I am seeking is not the real and not the unreal but rather the unconscious,
the mystery of the instinctive in the human race.”
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