Saturday, March 21, 2020


New painting:

2020, oil on linen, 7 1/2" x 6"

My previous three paintings - Twins, Flying Torpedo, and Subway Interior - were complex compositions, so it was time to go to a simpler image. Getting the right grey notes to work in harmony was not easy, but I think it all worked out. The red lipstick does the trick.

Perhaps the painting is an homage to Whistler, to his beautiful use of monochromatic harmonies ... perhaps it is a grey response to the desolation of the coronavirus pandemic ... perhaps it's both.

The figure was present in my previous painting, Subway Interior, and received comments about the hat. One person expressed a wariness that no modern women would ever wear such a hat. Being a stubborn person, I just liked the shape and stayed with it. 

And here, perhaps the hat is another homage, now to Piero della Francesca and his brilliant double portrait of Federico da Montefeltro and Battista Sforza:

The Duke and Duchess of Urbino
 Diptych of Federico da Montefeltro and Battista Sforza
Piero della Francesca
ca. 1465-1472, tempera on panel, 19" x 26" Uffizi gallery, Florence

Or perhaps it's simply due to a childhood memory of the black hats, the kalimafhi, worn by Orthodox priests:

Perhaps it's both.


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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

"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