Painting of the Month January 2019

the wire 2018 copy


The Wire” 36”x50” 2018

The windows in my studio are high and north-facing. I can’t actually see the street, but I can see the sky and the top of my neighbor’s maple tree. That maple has starred in several of my paintings over the years.

The latest iteration highlights a telephone wire that divides the canvas. I rarely paint manufactured things – grids and straight lines irritate and seem to me entirely artificial. But the wire called and I could see that it was actually made up of several wrapped and angular cables. The contrast between the wire, the clouds, the sky and the tree just beginning to leaf out intrigued me, a siren’s song of inspiration.

I worked on the painting on and off for months. It wasn’t an easy painting, it seemed to fight me every step of the way. And then one day, I realized what I had been doing wrong – I had localized the color in the tree, isolating it from the rest of the painting. It’s important that every element works in concert. Color, composition, movement. Finally they did.

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