Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Winterscape of Body and Soul


Working the negative space is a natural move if you are an artist that enjoys landscapes during the winter.  The blank spaces left from fallen leaves, between branches and stems leave a poetic opening of artistic opportunity.  At the same time negative spaces, like winter’s effect on the landscape, give us a chance to imagine what was there and what is to come. We can either complain or be disappointed over what is seemingly not there or delve further into these seemingly blank spaces and delight in the shapes, geometric interplays and markmaking possibilities with which we are faced.  This drawing taken from my sketchbook is a still life of a vase filled with variety of blooming Dutch bulbs, most prominently tulips.  Absence of the usual intense colors of tulips is filled with enticingly rich graphite, creating its own conversation in shadow, shape and depth. The stark winter landscape which many of us will be facing for many months to come, invites us to step into the domain on the spirit, as the branches and the negative spaces around them, weave intricate patterns from plays of light and shadow guiding our thoughts and visions towards the unknown.  Absence of color is like a conversational pause and it can be just as powerful at punctuating numerous formal and expressive elements of a drawing.

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