Thursday, July 11, 2013

Interior at Night

Interior at Night
52" x 50"     oil on linen     2013

After three months on the easel, Interior at Night is finished and awaiting its frame. This painting is a very different composition for me because the interior space is as visually dominant as the figure; I haven't taken this road in many years and it proved to be a very interesting journey.

The simplicity of the composition and it's basic abstract elements -- large areas of "empty" space,  relatively few curved lines to play against the many strong horizontal and vertical lines, hardly any diagonals, and the limited palette -- all made it very challenging to paint. I've also found that relatively simple compositions are often much more demanding than complex compositions ... the latter can have an abundance of colors and forms with which to create a rich visual experience, while the former may have only a few components.

Hopefully the triangular movement of the black notes locked in tightly with the L shape of the reds, together with the nuances and rhythms of the whites, create a complexity out of the painting's apparent simplicity, and combine well with the narrative of the moment.

A last thought: I've always said I'm fundamentally an abstract painter, that the narrative is an important level to be enjoyed or contemplated, but that it's not the only level to see. This painting is perhaps a good example of that point.


  1. This image is a bit like the Chinese Boxes. Or perhaps the Chinese Boxes dislodged one from the next and now being contemplated in their mysteriousness by our girl in the red blouse. Yes, it is a mysterious painting, and the very beautiful carpet and the black of night pressing in the window add further dimensions to this mystery. And the immaculate simplicity of the whole thing lends a kind of eerie quiet to our contemplation of the scene. - F.V.

  2. Interior at Night is a wonderful painting - thrilling in its abstract movement and subtle complexity. Mondrian popped into my head as the lady disappeared. Then he disappeared and I was riding on perpendicular roller-coaster. Can't wait to see it in reality. You are a master!


  3. Congratulations, Andrew! I love this new composition. I agree with your anonymous commenter above: Chinese boxes indeed. I am imagining the narrative, and wondering what has the woman heard through the open window that is making her stop in her tracks in her bright interior so that she can't be seen through the window by who or whatever is outside.

  4. So many stories racing through my mind. The inviting tranquility it offers. Very spiritual and beautiful. The colors are so rich and alive. Entering this world is delicious! Thank you Andrew yet again! You are the master of color. PI

  5. Andrew,

    This piece is marvelous; a triumph.

    Her stillness is intriguing. What is her narrative? Is her "interior" (personal and physical) a kind of respite, a closed space (yet offering the temptation of escape through the half-open window), an alternative existence for a few short hours? Does it bear only a faint resemblance to the reality outside?

    Kind regards, Gerry

  6. F.V., TR, Allison, PI, and Gerry,

    Thank you very much for your very excellent and thoughtful and poetic comments ... all are deeply appreciated!


  7. So stunningly constructed and so gorgeously painted.



"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

“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.”
- Amedeo Modigliani