value studies

It took me a long time to understand or at least come to my understanding of the word value as it applies to the process of painting. It is the range of intensity of light and shadow in a painting that is generally portrayed with colour. This is a place where the computer has been an incredibly useful tool for me. Throughout the course of a painting I use photographs of the work in progress to have another view of what I see. It is like taking a piece to the mirror for the reflected shift of view, okay I do that too.  Eyes are tricky things and the brain tends to show you what you already believe  exists. It is good to challenge your perceptions. This is how we work with value studies.

While painting the red panel for the piece four directions, I have incorporated some bits of symbolism. The primary one that holds a key to the story for me includes seven strips of cloth that represent seven generations which portray a belief regarding the process of change and the cycle of healing. The questioning factor is where do we begin counting in an ever changing world what generation is the starting point. An article on-line this morning under the header The lost Tribe, was a good read in a long Canadian story. There is a tide of turbulence in  this panel that is stronger than the desire to create the quiet sections. The balance may be hard to obtain, but that is part of the story of red.

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I am working on this piece simultaneously with the white panel. I find myself testing my perceptions a great deal. Abstract work is full of story, symbol, representation of idea, and once the story is written it will stand alone without explanation. It will be for the viewer to bring their own sense of understanding and emotive response. There is a kind of letting go inherent in sharing work, a kind that says do not allow my story to supplant your own. It takes willpower, I am working hard on increasing mine! To answer the question, how long did it take to paint this piece? The answer will fall between two months for four panels, and a lifetime to date. and so it goes…


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