Copper Pages

Oil on Canvas  60X48 Inches

Oil on Canvas

60X48 Inches

‘Copper Pages’ was derived from a sketch of Magdalena reading a book while seated in a film directors chair. I re-drew the sketch on a canvas which I had adhered to a hardboard panel. It's surface was a thickly impasto’d sand applied with a large bakers palette knife with umber tones underneath. I was stilled by its appearance.So much so I left it was for several years. The panel haunted the corners of my studio, ever evoking my gaze over that period, provoking me all the while, I found myself conjuring poses.. . I like a surface to have an abstract appeal before a pose is introduced, the longer it remains the more invested my vision upon its surface. I like the picture to lead me forward as if it knows what it wants to be.This keeps me from insisting on my own preconceptions. I would compromise with what existed already and amend my pose to adapt to passages of hardened sand. The craggy surface had the arbitrary beauty of cracks in the sidewalk or an old Tuscan wall... When I set to work I did not use charcoal stick or pencil, rather I chose a thick round tortured old paint brush, I dipped it in thinned forest green oil paint; I sketched her on this canvas panel with that brush.A blunt tool allows ones primitive soul to arise. The surface was bumpy and deckled, the brush coursed over the milieu unpredictably allowing mostly accidents and invention ,only spare detail survived the original ‘seated girl sketch’ when complete. This was good. The balance of the work would be choosing which detail to elevate and carve in hard plaster shapes and then illuminate with the brilliant color . I craft painting surfaces in such a way;authenticity is reliant on the texture. (a copy machine can make a perfect reproduction of a dollar bill. It is the texture felt in your hand that testifies it’s genuine) This phenomena applies in the extreme in our epoch when all things are reproduced digitally.The striped blue pants are thick but smoothly modeled plaster and scored deeply with chisel and sanding wheel and then painted cerulean with lavender in the deep grooves. The red blouse has a ‘wet’ look to the paint emphasizing’ here and now’ . The chair elements stand up to an inch above the canvas, burnt orange which is closest in hue to the background sand. Primary colors are forward. Surface texture slows down the perceptual process- seems to allow a color or a shape to exist on their own, something luscious! A morsel food tasted alone, it reaches one’s taste bud before the rest of the sauce, not strictly as an element tamed in a composition.