Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pink is hard, at least for me it is. Can easily go toward sickly or Barbie. How does Gauguin make it work?

Riders on the Beach
was painted in 1902.

Besides the pink struggle, there are always the composition problems. Sometimes, when trying to decide on the balance of shapes in a compositio
n I'll put my hand a few inches from my face to block a figure and see if it seems necessary to a painting. In Riders, those 7 are absolutely necessary,don't you think? Also vital are those trees in the far left, providing some vertical opposition to all that horizontal movement. He just knows when to stop, too. There's a lot to draw your eye but areas for it to rest, as well. How he comes up with a painting filled with motion that seems so serene amazes me. Also, I find the figure on the left (with no horse) intriguing in that he seems to be not completely planted on the ground, but somehow pinned in place by some magical means, some tension created by his position relative to the other figures. Does this make any sense?

Here's a shot at using pink - a diptych of a ship at the dock in Bellingham with Lummi Island in the background. I lost the nerve to go strong and faded out the pink; the sky was very rosy when I took the pictu
re. Maybe needs some punching up.

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