The painting below by James Abbott McNeill Whistler is one of my favorite paintings in the National Gallery of Art and one I never fail to see when I visit Washington. While I often mention artists such as Giotto and Gauguin as significant influences, Whistler – and this painting in particular – has also been very influential to my work and to my way of thinking … most especially his brilliant use of closely related tones and subtle harmonies.
|Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl |
James Mac Neill Whistler
84" x 42 1/2" oil on canvas 1862
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
In Whistler's painting, the beautiful variations of white complemented by her dark hair add an additional level of poetry to the visual experience, and was a direct influence on my painting, Night in A White Room (image in my April 4th post), which in turn brought me to Interior at Night forty-four years later.
Here's how my painting looks today ... still in progress:
Interior at Night, in progress
50" x 52"
I'm exploring a composition that is also predominately white, in this case punctuated by a triangle of three dark notes: the woman's hair, her skirt, and the night sky. The rug will be in red tones related to the blouse, hopefully creating an interesting counterpoint to the triangle.