View Full Version : Letters from Mexico Series
08-30-2001, 07:17 PM
I've been working on several of these images. This one isn't quite finished. I'm trying to decide whether or not to actually do some writing in the "letter/envelope" shape to the right or whether just the two shapes are enough.
Anyway - I've only been working with oils for a short time. I love em!!:D I've mostly been working in graphite (see other post under drawing and sketching, just for an idea of what sorts of things I did before tackling oils.).
Any comments, criticisms, etc. are welcome. I'll get a couple of shots of the other 2 I have in process in the next day or so.
Thanks for your views.
08-30-2001, 07:23 PM
Just a comment... Beautiful..... looking forward to more...
This is beautiful I love the colors the compostion it's just perfect *S* :clap:
08-30-2001, 09:25 PM
I really like what you've done with the architecture here. very nice job. I'm bugged by the context of the letter/envelope. It's not clear what's going on with it since it seems to be behind the potted plants thus putting everything in strange perspective. Was that your intent? I wouldn't suggest writing but making the paper or envelope more obviously 'that' would differenciate it from being more structure or a block of light (shaft of light on the wall).
08-31-2001, 12:15 AM
this is really lovely..but Iam afraid I have to agree with zotma about the letter/envelope.....:)
08-31-2001, 03:39 AM
perhaps lettering on the sheet or envelope would help but i have to say i found this picture enchanting... the envelope section is mysterious while the rest of the picture is straightforward. the tiled path leading under the arch is masterful and very enticing. the placement of the flowers extends the green section very nicely. the wrought-iron gate is beautiful and i know must have been a bear to paint ! i really admire the way you have it standing open... the area on the right side of the building is more the color of the envelope and i think it joins the envelope to the rest of the picture. random thoughts...i think this is a wonderful series with a world of possibilities... thanks for sharing it. i feel this picture is so much about the joy of life... great work !
08-31-2001, 07:38 AM
Thanks everyone for looking and commenting on this piece. (Lorna - the wrought iron WAS a real pill!)
Zotma and Wendee, I agree that the light letter shape is problematic. I guess I'm still struggling with the concept. It all started when I was wishing that I could let my mom (who died about 10 years ago) know about what a wonderful place Mexico is. The idea of a letter, combined with images from the country popped into my head and I've been trying to resolve it in paint. I've got a way to go yet. The purple arch piece isn't finished, so I can go back in and push some things around. I'm attaching an earlier finished piece where the elements seem to hang together better, but it's a little more "decorative" that I'd like.
Jan-Michael and Luvy, thank you for your comments.
Lorna, one of the things I love about this country is the way the people here use exuberant colors on everything from rugs, to pottery to their homes.
08-31-2001, 07:56 AM
it is avery reasonable, realistic and busy painting.
I would feel compelled to simplify it - to find the gestures in it that I enjoyed most, enhancing those for my viewers eliminating what was not really contributing to the totality (even if it were there in a photo).
I have difficulty with it the way it is. particularly the barrier formed by the lovely purple archway transitioning to the orangebrown wall. this becomes a lopsided frame to a very small painting of a scene through bars. (to eliminate that I would introduce other colors into the purple and the brown until the whole painting felt to be a unity but still had good impact or bring those colors into the pristine tilework and garden!)
the other painting has more effective color ballance but it is oddly centric.
(being lopsided in one and centric in the other convinces me that you are capable of greatness - i.e. not hooked on your bad habits.)
both have good attention to detail and control over colored shapes, and an appreciation for beauty.
08-31-2001, 02:45 PM
Great use of color and realistic forms. I find the piece almost surreal - really grabs my interest.
08-31-2001, 05:28 PM
Thanks Jerry and Cindy. One of the things you immediately notice about Mexico are the walls. Except for the Americans, almost all the houses here have very small front windows, and a lot of wall...lol. Sometimes you get lucky and get a glimpse of the house or the garden through an open door.
The walls also are cultural. While the Mexicans are a very open and friendly people, the cultural mores, language barriers, social norms, etc. put them behind walls to those of us who are newcomers. I find the whole idea of barriers, walls, doors, fascinating, even if they are a compositional "no-no" artistically.
Anyway, I'm having a struggle with both this concept (implied communication/non communication) as well as a new medium in oils. I'm sure after another 50 or so images...it will sort itself out.
Been there, done that...I think it's called creating...lol
Thanks for your comments.
08-31-2001, 06:55 PM
Your art takes on a surreal quality which is not immediately apparent from this one piece, but can be recognized in your body of work. I like the Mexican hacienda painting just the way it is. In a dreamlike state, the letter and envelope can be a way for you to share what you experience with your mom, but it can also take on the form of a wall, another barrier that prevents you from getting through to her. I like this just the way it is. I like the mystery of the forms and placement. If you do decide to include words, perhaps you can echo the wrought-iron effect for the typeface font. But I would chose not to include words. They would break the lulled-into-serenity mood you have created and make the viewer perk up to read and really get confused and wonder. So let them drift off into your beautiful painting, with all its wonderful wall effects, including the letter and envelope.
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