Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 605, 606

A couple of studies of Queen Anne's Lace and Mexican glass. I love the cobalt rim on the glass, and the way the Queen Anne's Lace flower forms a soft, fuzzy basket with a few sharp accents that define its shape. I'm perpetually interested in the mysterious way we perceive so much of reality--as a sort of blur with small areas of focus. If you try to paint things all in focus, the effect is naive, or at best resembles a Northern Renaissance painting. Those were supposed to represent the world as seen through the eyes of God: everything seen with perfect clarity at all times. Optically, we only see sharp things when there is sufficient contrast, which varies across the field of view. The area where we actually perceive things at their highest level of detail, the fovea, accounts for an area the size of a quarter held at arms' length in our field of view. To capture this optical effect, much of a    picture can be painted with soft edges with only a few accents. The trick is to get the accents right, hence the studies.

I painted these a few months ago, as I'm playing catch-up with posting. Since then, I broke the glass when I bumped the painting stand, so these paintings serve as a sort of memento.

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