Copying the caravaggio three times is an exercise in rhythm, geometry
and color play. The man was triangle- obsessed. Every fold of clothing
or bend of arm forms a geometric pointer to lead you through the
painting. These angles sometimes conspire to form a major diagonal
that leads the eye in a slow rhythmic descent till it lands on the
main subject, the virgin Mary laid out on a bed. Dark hues play in
the shadow, reds are luminous.
On copy number three I still haven't tired of the composition.
Inspired, I starting to edit my highway paintings, adjusting the
amount of city, cement piers and interchanges to tell the story
intended. I realize how unecessary it is to leave any unappealing
form. I am not editing to create the picturesque, but with the goal of
better rhythm and flow of color.
The practice of copying Caravaggio and reading weekly about the
aspirations of avant garde film makers are stirring up change. While
my end result appears to belong to an older (some would say dead)
tradition of 2-d art making, the commitment to process is shared. I've
heard a few people mention that art should demand something of you,
the artist. It is easy to see how this applies to a performance or
endurance piece, but I think it applies to the object-based art as well.
My current test of this is to use color and brushtrokes in new ways-
allowing sky to go brown or pink and ground and houses to to blue.
This is creating a new exciting cohesiveness to the painting itself,
breakinmg my tendency to fill in bands color. I want texture and
layers, and the brushstrokes to show. Getting over my initial
bashfulness about my medium and am enjoying exploiting its qualities.