Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Practice-- Color Shadows and White Light

Above are studies exploring shadow and light effects as an expansion of my exploration of what is hidden and what is apparent. I am interested in how shadow makes color when there is a manipulation of light, as well as how colored lights combine to make black or combine to make white. This stems from my interest in scotopic vision and the ability to see the world in grayscale.

This research and use of light in my work began in the Winter of 2017 on my drive to Mass MOCA for a residency. Along the way, I stopped off at a local small town museum that had a show of the Hudson River School painters. I was familiar with the work of these artists but had never really been taken with it. I had a few hours to burn and plenty of time to look at the each painting slowly. I scanned the surfaces of each painting and looked at them from different angles and distances. I really became drawn into the work. My initial interest was that fact that most of the paintings had an inner glow to them. The light seemed to come from the deepest part of the paintings. I saw a correlation to my work, as exploring hidden things and shedding light on the unseen. I did not how this would influence my work, but it was the first moment that my work began to deal with inner light and take the form of a landscape.

Details from An Adirondack Pastoral by George Inness 1869

In a brief account on the school on the Metropolitan Museum of Art information guide states,  "With the example of Durand in both word and practice, outdoor sketching in oils as the foundation of and model for studio landscapes became common, and both plein-airism and the loosening authority of Sublime aesthetics led to a less inflected idiom whose most conspicuous features often were the light influencing terrestrial forms and the air bathing them."

Dawn of Morning, Lake George Jasper Fransis Cropsey 1868


I am interested in their visual representation of the sublime. For them it was an exploration of the vast greatness found in nature and to connection the a higher power. For me, visually, I use the HRS visual language I see in the paintings to explore structures that are outside of explanation, grandiose, and beyond full comprehension, that which is vast and unwieldy. I use their inner light and glow, their heaviness and darkness their rendering of distance and faintness. The HRS works also touches on idealism, romanticism and transcendentalism. I am interested again in the their visual representations of these themes and interests.  I reference their visual language to make forms that are idealistic, dreamlike, ambiguous and visionary-esque. My idealistic forms are riffing on a utopian fiction of a differently shaped future.
I can see this influencing my paintings, but also I can imagine that this may become a photographic series. I am taking a trip to Rome in November 2017 and will document the Flavian Palace, and I am very interested in using the photographic documentation I will take in combination with light experiments both in situ and in post-production to make a new body of work so stay tuned!