Aura III

An aura is scientifically explained as an electrical field surrounding a body, different pale hues implying, variation in strength.. Frankly I have been occasionally observing them since my youth, so too have others. I have come to believe that the particular hue implies more than electrical strength, rather the age of the soul. While running the reservoir in Central Park, May ‘16, I started imagining a new figure…suspended, a body not hindered by gravity, potentially a fitting way to express spiritual freedom, a vivid spirit moving inside also. What I saw in my minds eye was a tangle of flesh suspended in space, the origin of the paintings “Aura III, IV” occurred there and then, on the running track. Later that day I embarked on new sketches, contemplating a degree of logic in setting (background) to balance the impossible poses. That balance of irrational subject and logical setting, seduces the viewer in ways that are difficult for one to resist.

On sheets of white paper I started sketching designs of women as if on a trapeze, always considering the resulting spaces between their contorted limbs, spine, torso head, hands and feet. Maximizing the negative resulting shapes between give an apparently realistic image abstract strength. Through the negative space, one can also glimpse the background too, essential to the story.. I made many sketches approx.’ 30 attempts, abut 10-12 were plausible candidates to paint on canvas. The drawing stage lasted 10 days. In bringing a raw idea to life, I would need to add femininity to the imagined poses. The danger when contorting and twisting a female figure, the result may be more monsters, than beauty. I am dedicated to avoiding this. I seek to represent “woman” at her idealized best, considering the poise of ballet and grace of sport; supple lines, pointed toes and self-aware.

The two backgrounds; circus tent interior and the Pantheon of Rome are completely freehand. Photographs were not transferred, rather I glanced at photos of the Pantheon for architectural accuracy and closed the book. I firmly believe in the fallibility of the human hand and imagination. Constant contemplation and lengthy adjustments of perspective and scale ensued. The backgrounds are not painted in oil, rather with extremely matt, flat finish tempera (Flash).

Finally the time arrived when the detailed figures assume their pose, when the background is complete. The final stage of rendering the aerialist, and then brushing in the ribbons of color aura electrical fields follows. Several more days of adjustment and re-coloring took place. The last step is encasing the Spirit or Soul, after months of work (Pantheon), the final hair-raising work session and lasted two days. The encasement is exactly that. Although not discernable in digital image, the figure has a ¼ inch of liquid resin on top of it(hi-gloss). The pour of resin is a very dicey technique and all can be lost. But if successful, defines the black and colored aura area inhabited on painting surface by flesh, as clear protoplasm. Visually it is super-shiny-brilliant, contrasting the extreme matt background interior. The result is an invention of mine; I have never seen it done before.

Aura IV

50 x 40 Inches    2016    Acrylic, Resin and Oil on Canvas

50 x 40 Inches

2016

Acrylic, Resin and Oil on Canvas

An aura is scientifically explained as an electrical field surrounding a body, different pale hues implying, variation in strength.. Frankly I have been occasionally observing them since my youth, so too have others. I have come to believe that the particular hue implies more than electrical strength, rather the age of the soul. While running the reservoir in Central Park, May ‘16, I started imagining a new figure…suspended, a body not hindered by gravity, potentially a fitting way to express spiritual freedom, a vivid spirit moving inside also. What I saw in my minds eye was a tangle of flesh suspended in space, the origin of the paintings “Aura III, IV” occurred there and then, on the running track. Later that day I embarked on new sketches, contemplating a degree of logic in setting (background) to balance the impossible poses. That balance of irrational subject and logical setting, seduces the viewer in ways that are difficult for one to resist.

On sheets of white paper I started sketching designs of women as if on a trapeze, always considering the resulting spaces between their contorted limbs, spine, torso head, hands and feet. Maximizing the negative resulting shapes between give an apparently realistic image abstract strength. Through the negative space, one can also glimpse the background too, essential to the story.. I made many sketches approx.’ 30 attempts, abut 10-12 were plausible candidates to paint on canvas. The drawing stage lasted 10 days. In bringing a raw idea to life, I would need to add femininity to the imagined poses. The danger when contorting and twisting a female figure, the result may be more monsters, than beauty. I am dedicated to avoiding this. I seek to represent “woman” at her idealized best, considering the poise of ballet and grace of sport; supple lines, pointed toes and self-aware.

The two backgrounds; circus tent interior and the Pantheon of Rome are completely freehand. Photographs were not transferred, rather I glanced at photos of the Pantheon for architectural accuracy and closed the book. I firmly believe in the fallibility of the human hand and imagination. Constant contemplation and lengthy adjustments of perspective and scale ensued. The backgrounds are not painted in oil, rather with extremely matt, flat finish tempera (Flash).

Finally the time arrived when the detailed figures assume their pose, when the background is complete. The final stage of rendering the aerialist, and then brushing in the ribbons of color aura electrical fields follows. Several more days of adjustment and re-coloring took place. The last step is encasing the Spirit or Soul, after months of work (Pantheon), the final hair-raising work session and lasted two days. The encasement is exactly that. Although not discernable in digital image, the figure has a ¼ inch of liquid resin on top of it(hi-gloss). The pour of resin is a very dicey technique and all can be lost. But if successful, defines the black and colored aura area inhabited on painting surface by flesh, as clear protoplasm. Visually it is super-shiny-brilliant, contrasting the extreme matt background interior. The result is an invention of mine; I have never seen it done before.

Rapunzel

2013  Oil On Canvas  50 x 40 Inches

2013

Oil On Canvas

50 x 40 Inches

Have you ever listened to an accomplished Jazz or rock guitar player, strum upward then downward, each time slashing the 6 strings, sounding a different singular chord-note, together crafting a recognizable tune? A brushy, painterly, pleasantly inexact way to evoke the melody. This approach exists in contrast to the conventional guitar technique; one hand plucking out the melody on a sequence of individual strings, while the other hand depresses a corresponding location on the string along the fret board….all very precise.

In applying the manganese blue paint over the limbs and torso of “Rapunzel”, I chose a 6-inch wide wall painters brush, pre-stiffened slightly with dried gum Arabic (not supple and soft as normal). The brush hairs gathered in small separate clumps. More like a rake than a brush. My intent; engage the hairs on the brush as if strumming the guitar. I liquefied the oil paint and dipped the brush in blue, not fully saturating the hairs, better for allowing each pointed clump to inscribe a separate line. When dragging it across the canvas surface, it trailed a wide pattern of lines, as if scratched imprecisely but intentionally in place.

Although eager, before leaping in with wetted brush, I calculated … planning the course of each brush stroke, seeing the result in my minds eye beforehand, each long stroke intended to describe the cylindrical roundness and length of the limb (or other anatomical parts). Segway them seamlessly to one another and prickle the nervous system with the single delicious color and texture simultaneously. I wanted to keep the brushstrokes slightly autonomous from each other, careful not muddle them, each a considered part of an overall visual design at a glance. A woman’s shape slowly emerging, like the guitarist gradually assembling the notes a love song for our ears, allowing it to arise unhurriedly...For this approach to succeed it would need the color to snap, glimpsing the violet compliment underneath and through the wide light blue brush-strokes, between the lines left by stiff hairs of the brushy effect. The flat violet was painted under the manganese blue, as its ground.

Painting a body in a single color is not unlike playing or “covering” a recognizable tune on a single musical instrument. We all know the pose, we know what shapes the human body can assume, there are few surprises. Same as we know the old tune being played. The thrill is in how the archetype is delivered differently…one more time, with new poetics. Every element in the picture needs to support the blue, thus the “Rapunzel” metaphor. The rocks and crevices in background where Rapunzel clings,can be understood as abstract shapes, variations of raw and burnt umber light & dark, blended with enough ultramarine into them, to visually function as neutral.

And…this is not the first time a picture of mine has been rescued by the infinite possibilities allowed by a woman’s hair color, length or style. In “Rapunzel” her yellow hair flows through picture like a river of gold, as much an abstract component as a real one. Justifiably dominant, the downward cascading stream of yellow defines the legendary ladder to Rapunzel’s suitor and her imprimatur in the lore of love.

 

Three Stones

50x40 Inches  Oil, Flash on Canvas  2016   

50x40 Inches

Oil, Flash on Canvas

2016

 

The muse finds herself moonlit and alone, a private moment bathing near the waterfall. The pose was created without a model, allowing some distortion and elongation close enough to nature to feel real yet freehand. I first painted umber rocks, Prussian blue water and ultramarine sky, in the middle and background quietly as possible inducing a nocturnal mood. These were executed in modest detail and in subdued values awaiting a figure. When the moment arrived have her enter the stream, I mixed a deep burgundy thick oil, and added brilliant red high lights last to stand up to the blue and green behind.

Aura I

50x40 Inches  Oil, Flash and Resin on Canvas  2016

50x40 Inches

Oil, Flash and Resin on Canvas

2016

My intent was to create an impression of the spirit that moves within the body. The picture is a composition of matt background and intense gloss figure. The background is somewhat somber and dark intended to allow emphasis on glistening foreground spirit. The ribbon-like brushstrokes are suspended within various body areas encased in clear resin. The resin imparts a feel somewhere between a living plasma and ether, in reality the naked eye cannot see. The background is a re-creation of classical wallpaper, nuanced with leaves gently falling. Finally a looming shadow falls upon the wall, subtly enriching an otherworldly effect I seek. 

Magdalena Del Sol

50x40 Inches  Oil, Flash on Canvas  2016   

50x40 Inches

Oil, Flash on Canvas

2016

 

I hope to always invent a new background in every picture I paint. I search the environments I inhabit and also the horde of my imagination for new approach. The background is definitely abstract but the feel of palm fronds arose. I continued the tropical feel with a lively pallet and finally her sombrero. The jutting shape of the legs and hat and the distortion of the upper torso allowed the darker background to work through the figure supporting the brilliant hues I chose. Each color of the 3 colors of her limbs has a complimentary color just applied underneath it. The scumbled, slightly brushy paint application allows the under-painting let the rich color on top vibrate …just a bit.

Sunflower

60 x 44 Inches  2015  Oil On Canvas

60 x 44 Inches

2015

Oil On Canvas

I feel the best poses of women occur, when the painting’s subject is engaged in an unguarded and practical act. A simple gesture may be perceived as provocative by onlookers, but innocent and unconscious unto themselves. Whether combing hair, drumming fingers, adjusting a garment, it is the viewer who re-contextualizes her natural composure with her/his own emotional response, based on their own needs. The founding gesture of this picture; a woman lifting her skirt slightly to avoid entanglement with flowers, as the path she walks narrows. The result exposes her legs and the subsequent repore’ with sunflowers awakened by her passing.

The painting evolved in the coldest week of early 2016, in my basement studio in New York City, a work of memory and longing.

Memory: having spent six weeks in Tuscany several years before, sketching a fifteenth century Tuscan village built around an Etruscan ruin, Castigliocello d’Trinoro. The fields of Tuscany were awash in sunflowers at the time. They yielded a compelling tapestry of cadmium yellow and terra Verde’ that begins at ones feet and expands to the horizon. I was stilled by a prosaic awe of timeless beauty, returning every summer...

Longing: on a dark cold day of the winter, came this painting’s inception. I wished to return to incandescent Tuscany again. The painting would succeed or fail depending on the outcome of crafting a tricky comportment; a body walking directly toward the viewer. Profile is the most efficient way of portraying movement, a frontal elevation is risky. To be in the presence of this picture one becomes aware of her self-reflective facial expression, her mood is clearly internalized, a cautious gait, expresses protective regard for the flowers she grazes. On the other hand the flowers in the foreground, can hardly contain their excitement. They exhibit wild variation in personality, structure and hues of yellow. My intent was to inject animus into each flower. They express exaltation, surprise or reluctance to let her escape, their singular encounter with a beautiful woman.

The perceptual difference of being close-up to nature, a single flower, or far away, the vast background expanse, required gradual miniaturization of flower detail. The sunflowers are full scale near viewer, reduced through the middle ground and a fine micro pattern as the field reaches the horizon…. and unto the sky. In the foreground, the texture of the oil paint varies greatly from her smooth skin and garment compared to the rendering of each flower. Her creamy complexion is intended as contrast to the thick, sculpted pedals of yellow on each flower. Some pedals are built-up ½ inch thick of oil paint, those in the background very thin. The underbrush and leaves give a sense realistic negative space and an means for the yellow to be held down by earth tones. Each flower is poised at different angles to the woman, to one another and the viewer. I wanted to portray a separate spiritual life in each of them, a moment to express a unique reaction to her, via posturing. Her smooth skin and lovely pallor were achieved by painting skin tones first in grey values over a finely sanded ground of modeling paste and later in color. When applying color I detailed her skin tones as if applying make-up to ones face and finally eye lashes rendered with a single haired brush.

Passing Ships

2016    50 x 40 Inches    Oil On Canvas

2016

50 x 40 Inches

Oil On Canvas

He stayed true to his own mind, that of a of a16 year old boy, who roamed spotlit halls of limitless imagination. Apparently a self-contained museum of wonder was placed on his shoulders at birth. He yearned to witness the northern lights; The Aurora Borealis.

A night sky would be required. He brushed a pure Ultramarine hue into cobalt violet, gradually blending, as it lowered to the horizon. There it would meet and contrast with the Prussian blue-green sea.

The painting is laid flat on the table now, he works rapidly with arms outstretched moving them back and forth quickly, blending opposite hues of mat tempera, that dry fast. He chose the tempera over his cherished oil, wanting to make a discernable phenomenological leap into an altogether different material affect. It would be required for his senses to feel the glint of magnetic ether in space. Every picture contained an experiment. He sought to invent a way to illustrate the magnetic color prism of the upper atmosphere. It becomes visible to the naked eye, near the pole, under perfect circumstances.

He determined French pastel, crushed fine ,then carefully rubbed gently over the weave of canvas, would cling to the ultra-matt dry tempera in an unusual way, like tiny particles of light, it might have the feel of star -stuff. He would need to be accurate and get it right first attempt, as the fine powder of pastel, ground down in his mortar and pistol, would stain the dry tempera irreversibly.

The powdery design quickly filled the deep hues of heaven…he exhaled. Not quite elated, liking the lime passages feeling of magnetic light. The use of raw dry pastel pigment conveyed the appearance of photons to his minds eye, something oil paint could not do. Yet something ,a possibility persisted…

Unexpectedly, the obvious occurred to him, the sea would mirror, the sky and its iridescent design. Lime-green on the water might feel redundant, its retinal function is cold yellow to some and too much yellow rules a painting harshly. Like in math or physics equation, an artist can reverse polarity seeking color escape. He reversed the lime to brilliant pink, stationed diametrically across an art students color wheel; a color compliment.

Could any color phenomena be unnatural under the Northern Light? There was inherent latitude now, when natural phenomena exceeds that of art. Color expressivity would seize awaiting opportunity. The Aurora Borealis in the sky could be a seductive abstract color painting alone,without a horizon or witness to provide a time and space reference.

As he sat and stared into the expanse of electric sky and sea on his canvas, heimagined the three masts of a pirate ship, lumbering out of the mist. On a fleeting whim, he sketched it in charcoal and poised its heading away from the middle ground ,softly floating into the color abyss.

The picture now referenced another epoch in the background, the foreground begged for a dynamic presence that would suggest present time.A temporal discontinuity suggested a dream state to him, which matched his inner needs, create an alternate reality inside each painting. A place for audience and artist escape to and meet. The foreground figure could be a dream she would need to be sculptural and in profile with only essential detail; an idyllic female form. She would be painted in thick shiny oil, seducing the viewers senses with texture as well as color. A material contrast between the dull perfectly smooth mat finish of the background tempera versus the rich luster of oil paint, applied thickly with a palette knife. 

After You Left

OIL ON CANVAS     2015    46X50 Inches

OIL ON CANVAS

2015

46X50 Inches

When I first saw this picture in my mind. It was a dimly lit room with woman on a bed; head hung back, knees and elbows up barely catching light, not unlike a mountain range in moonlight. A shadowy doorway, containing a dark human shape, stood across the room opposite her supine pose. There would be a corner in the room, deep in shadow vaguely defined, possibly the outline of a dark window shape in the wall. The outline of a figure standing in the doorway, introduces the unknown. Friend or foe, was it leaving, arriving or watching? I contemplated a light source too, a bare bulb overhead or a candle. As I sketched then charcoaled and brushed in deep hues of oil paint, the bed woman and atmosphere, I was thinking continually about the expression on her face. I warned myself that in addition to it being telling, the expression would be upside-down…very difficult. It would inform the viewer ultimately, as to her existential state. Yes, body language is powerful, but also open to interpretation. A facial expression tends to be a universal language. Her face would be closest to the viewer, I became aware it could make or break the picture.</h6>

So…determining her internal feelings would really have to precede everything else. Not that I painted her face first, actually came last. But I needed to know; for her, the viewer and myself. Was she alone, abandoned, afraid, needy, an exhibit, anticipating human contact or simply contemplatively resting, internalizing?

A facial expression, which forms as a result of Internalizing, could be subtler without an observer present, if alone she is not projecting her feelings to another person. They would simply be the result of her internal mood.

I felt the latter was more realistic and honest, it appealed to me. This allowed me to eliminate the doorway and the entity within it, hence the tittle: After You Left. With the door gone, the windows and corners were pointless and would only suggestively duplicate the rectangle of the bed and reduce the drama. The bed has many associations all of which were in-bounds. Mostly provided comfort and contrast. The encircling bed sheet folds surrounding her, give emphasis to the weight of her human form.

With the room nixed, the setting existed in a detached space and time of pure mood. This became an opportunity to increase atmosphere at the periphery allowing my brush to leap in, creating a non-objective painterly lens at the edges of the canvas.

Girl with Curious Flower

2007   60x45 Inches

2007

60x45 Inches

I have a belief that when presenting a human form the facial expression is what the audience seizes upon last and relies upon most when extracting meaning. I suppose we are conditioned to do this by unrelenting stream of manipulation from modern media. Morning til night, the visual appeals of the computer, TV, cinema, magazines and billboard;buy, try, sympathize ,envy or detest. The facial expression brought me some satisfaction as it graced the muse with sweetness and vulnerability. This an intended contrast to the flat, minimally configured painterly limbs.One verifies the message through body language but ultimately consults the smile, pout, grimace of the mask for certainty we got the message right. The venerable history of figurative painting and photography required that the subject sat motionless for hours, days ,weeks to render likeness, consequently often devoid of spontaneous emotion to accommodate accuracy(or beheading by an insulted king). In post modern works, artists seek to gain distinction from pop media forms by avoiding and if not obliterating facial expression unless ironic. In “Girl with Curious Flower”, innocence supplants irony. I do not see this as precluding the traditions of paint handling from which I have learned classic to expressionism; Canaletto to DeKooning.The flower itself rendered realistically for emphasis in contrast to the body. Symbolically the flower lends the potential for naughtiness to her angelic smile and beguiling eyes.

Parting Her Hair

Oil on Canvas   2007    60x48 Inches    

Oil on Canvas

2007

60x48 Inches

 

Paintings are a diary of an artist’s life. This was the last picture I painted before a fall. There are events in ones life that destroy you a little. Not unlike the towns tallest tree brought down by lightning, no one could believe it possible, least of all the tree.
 An artist benefits immeasurably from the potency of an intact ego, more essential than paint, brush and canvas. The notion of indestructibility, a chimera as it turns out.
  The muse at hand, a sturdy sculptural form, a construct of my former illusion. There is no doubt in her sanguine expression as she gazes into a mirror unseen and prepares for the evening ahead. The space resulting from her arms framing her head and elbow pivoting on her knee, create a passage for the background color to enter and flow throughout the picture. Her beau colic gaze is satisfied by her muliebral reflection in the cheval glass not seen. This contentedness produces a smile which the picture evolves around. So sweet is her delight as she beholds her own visage. The behemoth unfeminine hand( required to span the distance from wrist to the part of her hair)is adequately countervailed by the felicity of her expression. In ‘Parting’ no tract of paint is left unfettered. Each precinct of color is layered with tonal and hue fluctuations, textured sand and grit ,particularly the whitish body. The net effect ? it is not really white. The slight tonalities under and over the white include varying light values of every other hue in the picture inviting an interdependence throughout.  I remember how I felt the night I finished this picture. I am wondering if I will ever feel that way again.

Waiting at the Bar

Oil on Canvas  65X54 Inches

Oil on Canvas

65X54 Inches

A cacophony of bells rang throughout the execution of ‘Waiting’. I felt a certainty and a wild anticipation from the tenor of the sketch. Color relationships revealed themselves immediately after the transparent alto lime was thinly applied over the staccato sand-grit sailcloth .The subordinate chorus of pale blue and forest green chimed in supportively and provided middle tones for the essential bass note; dark Ultramarine Blue-violet dress and shoes. The cadmium red light fluted along their edges retaining wet spontaneity. I was prepared to back off at anytime while assembling this full orchestra of color in the event that the melody got lost, but it remained clear, by virtue of uncompromised body language. The decision to eliminate the left leg indicates the extent to which I require every part to contribute to the score or be gone. A painting, always performance, has its own potential which becomes apparent in the first movement. The conductor should first seek to define, try to fulfill and not exceed that potential. The goal; reach the crescendo with a clear statement and leave the audience wanting more.    The amplitude of color is possible because the muse’s comportment is muscular and imposing. You walk in the joint and spot the dy-no-mite looker, with tons of body language says: “Where the hell is HE!!…but while I’m sitting here waiting…aint I cute?.. !”  After some deliberation I nixed the poodle and the teensy little handbag and waited for the other shoe to drop, it did (and they were Italian!). Not dreadfully girthed as Botero or towering as Giacometti bronze, she was perched upon the bar stool flaunting a take no prisoners chassis that demands to be noticed, pencil thin waist and firm deltoids. Finally, I allotted a parting delicacy to her facial countenance. Simulacrum eyes and resupine neck, proffer the true cipher of her longing for recognition.

Watermelon Sugar

60 x 48 Inches

60 x 48 Inches

I committed to impossibly hot colors in the background invoked by oranges and watermelon innards. A ground should be a complete abstract picture on its own. I work toward simple visual and metaphorical satisfaction (maybe not so simple). I want to walk away from a painting after a work session feeling it is complete for some ones eye, if not my own. Well the next day I found it may be impossible to have another color inhabit this surface. Motivated not to waste these untamed if not indulgent hues, I reduced the round forms of a woman to a flat template and mixed the coldest imaginable Turquoise to stand up to the background heat .After removing my sunglasses I discovered, it somehow it worked. (Thank You Richard Brautigan , Poet)

In the Garden

Oil on Canvas  60X48 Inches

Oil on Canvas

60X48 Inches

I am a student of painting and always will be. I am not afraid of exploration and then change, I don’t particularly believe in specialization for an artist. As a pre-teen wandering the galleries of the Art Institute of Chicago I copied and learned from the European impressionists, eventually discovered the anxious pop objects of the American School. Through Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, I discovered Marcel Duchamp. Via Marcel,entered the Dadaists/Surrealists doorway and I encountered there European written Philosophy; Antonin Artaud, Breton, Sartre, Freud, Nietchze. European literature opened my mind like never before.    At 16 years, after Saturday morning classes I was invited into The College of the Art Institute of Chicago on scholarship.( summer of 1968 ,the democratic convention ,Chicago was burning and bleeding just outside in Grant Park) I was taught to draw freehand, via old classic techniques. These were rigorous sessions, and the teachers were demanding and critical. Old world Professors who insisted there is no other way and did not give a damn about a student having his own style, they gave no quarter to an original approach. It was expected you were developing personal stylistic proclivities and a mental life of your own; these had little to do with accurately proportioning the human figure. You were there to learn how to draw and tone form (sadly this approach to teaching studio art is all but vanished).   Color has always been instinctive to me. I was in touch with my own way from a very early age and had produced dozens of paintings before stepping foot in a museum or a class. I seem to have been born with it and when My father brought paintings home from Paris(Left Bank )and Rome I knew what I was going to do with my life, much to his astonishment. It is astounding what a single morsel of stimuli can do to a young mind. The impact has lasted to this day. I was launched by those paintings mannered after Degas ,VanGogh and the local hero Buffet (far from great paintings but seldom do I encounter a painting devoid of quality).What I had by birthright was awoken could not be impeded or taken away. I did not have to defend it or insist on it, it was power and it protected me from the uncertainties apparent in my peers. I felt anything was possible. Art was a vast uncharted continent and I was given a Range Rover at birth. Onward, I began to realize, I was shifting. I was learning to draw and paint from the other cerebral hemisphere, the objective one. This was layered over my native approach. Whether the ambience was chiaroscuro (light to dark) ,photo realism (flat lit detail) or abstraction, I possessed an energy and facility which amazed even me. Since then I have produced more than a thousand drawings, painting and sculptures and worked at considerable depth in these traditions and blends of their substrata. I spent so many years referred to as “unique and new” by teachers, friends eventually newspapers, magazines and others that I learned there was little advantage being ahead of your time.   I have always felt there a kinship in the paint handling and light of Eduardo Manet and Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio although 200 years apart, I learned from them both. There are numerous exemplary works  to be found in ROBERTMANGO.com(see “Vessels”,” Jewel of the Adriatic”).  This brings us back to “In the Garden”, My innocent muse stops to water the sunflowers while bathing. Ok I am a romantic and this picture suggest a naiveté’ which is real to me. My alternate reality is not film or television; it is the history of painting. I have found the best historical insights into the psyche of those who inhabited previous centuries is depicted most trustfully on canvas. The artist or culture that looses its naiveté may be doomed. We remain children in the Garden… of Eden.

Blue Jean Baby

Oil on Canvas  60X48 Inches

Oil on Canvas

60X48 Inches

Staring at the blank canvas, I held in my minds eye a conjured image; a woman laughing at herself… playing a toy piano. Simultaneously strokes of surrounding energy appeared (later applied in thick textural color with widely swinging strokes of a 12 inch bakers icing application tool).When I started the sketch she got younger and the piano became an instrument of dynamic expression. In the end as in the beginning a painting is requires puissant accord of abstract and recognizable forms. The enveloping willingness of the piano lid to accept her callipered legs is design element that the emitted energies circumnavigate and use as structure.    A medium for sonorant inspiration, her eyes are closed accessing an internal melody. The play of coils and strings, the 88 black &amp; white keys allowed a painterly caprice this artist enjoyed immensely. The decision of ‘which hues to use’ was cast by the oxide yellow background. This raw pigment, a ground up chunky powder borrowed from the great alluvium store, kept in an old fashion glass pharmacy bottle on my highest dusty shelf. Once dissolved the viscous potion conveys a pleasure which is uniquely yellow but has the calming effect of an earth tone, holding down the potentially quarrelsome red and blue and completing the triad. Before long I was humming Buddy Holly, poising her hands at the top of their arc and all 10 fingers momentarily hovering over a major key. I needed enough human detail to balance the preponderance of purely abstract swatches. Taking the time to proportion fingers is a task we unconsciously want the figurative artist to undertake (a condign body part to all pianists accepting possibly Jerry Lee Lewis who did rather well with his feet). Dropping out the piano bench, was a deletion made in behalf of a mid-air performance.