Verticals

Posted by on Apr 25, 2017 in Blog | No Comments

I’ve been painting a lot of horizontal compositions lately. Not intentionally but “landscape” orientations often come naturally when painting landscapes. I decided my next painting would be vertical, that is, a “portrait” orientation. Well at least that was how it was going to start. Here is the latest on my easel, it’s still a work in progress.

As I have been working on this painting I have switched the orientation back and forth numerous times from vertical to horizontal. I actually quite like both orientations, and it is nice to give the brain a new perspective when working by switching what it thinks it should be seeing. While the horizontal orientation is interesting, I think my brain visualizes it much larger as part of a bigger composition, which has given me an idea for a future piece. So for now, the verticals are winning out and my “jungle” painting will remain in portrait format, which makes sense since when you think about a jungle or rainforest you are usually surrounded by a lot of striking, tall vegetation, as opposed to horizon lines.

Daintree Rainforest, Northern Queensland, 2016

I realize that my painting is pretty abstract, it’s really just a bunch of lines, but for me it very much evokes the jungle. I am enjoying the play of lights and darks, vibrant contrasts, and subtle color juxtapositions, long lines that stretch high versus shorter lines. When I started the painting, it was just putting a bunch of colors and lines down on canvas but as the painting gets more refined, I paint a stroke, take a few steps back to view, then respond to that stroke, and repeat. It’s almost like being in the jungle…looking at what is close, then trying to grasp a larger view, then back to focusing on what’s up close, navigating the landscape one step at a time.