Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Fishbowl

The title of this painting while in progress was Woman with Fishbowl: #2. Now that it's finished, the title has been simplified to Fishbowl.

Fishbowl
2018-2019, oil on linen, 17" x 15"

In my last blog post, I was undecided about the color of the upper half of the wall - light red stripes or pale ivory ones - but as often happens, the final choice was neither. The yellow serves well as a transition from the white wainscoting to her skin tone and then to the orange fish and red blouse.

I also toyed with the idea of including a black cat, Mr. Epps, but he added an element to the composition and the narrative that took the painting in a different direction. And none of the preparatory drawings included a cat.

left: drawing #1  (initial sketch)
2018, pencil on paper, 7" x 4"

right: drawing #4
2018, pencil on paper with green oxide pastel on reverse, 17" x 15"

In the final drawing, the woman was facing outwards, but once I started painting, the narrative began to look as if she was showing or offering the fish to the viewer. As with the cat, that was not really in my vision of the composition. I decided to go with the profile - as she was in the initial drawing - preferring the dynamic of the woman and the fish looking in opposite directions, with neither engaging the viewer.

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7 comments:

  1. I love so many things about this. Her swept back hair and her confident look. It says "dynamic woman" to me ... and yet she has a vulnerable form of life in her long, slim fingers.
    - Jim G.

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  2. Andrew, this entry is wonderful! I love the painting, and reading about the decision making that went into its execution. The top reflection of the fish on the surface is perfect.
    - Kate

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  3. Lovely painting and a very good decision to go with the profile. All beautiful!

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  4. Lovely, as always. Especially beautiful forms.

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  5. WOW! I especially LOVE this!! The lines of the wonderful dark hair, red off-the shoulder top, the reflection of the goldfish "floating" above him, the size of the fish just fitting into the bowl, the lines on the wall behind her, the tiny lines of her arms extending above her top, her thinner hair brushed over her ears, the elongated fingernails.
    - Nancy V.

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  6. Where’s Mr. Epps? A perfect painting can be even be more perfect!!
    - Willow

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  7. Love the color and perspective from the top of fishbowl. Wonderful painting!
    - Allison

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quotes

"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