Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Returning briefly to the theme of my last post (mainly my fascination with windows and doors) I wanted to share this image. While most of this series has dealt with the outside looking in, here I am inside looking out. The theme in this painting is of course the light. The scene is the interior of a abandoned house in a Chinese village. Unfortunately this building (and many others) no longer exists but I was fortunate to complete studies and paintings of both the outside and the inside. Here I concentrated on one window and the afternoon sun coming through the hazy window panes. Dust and other detritus has accumulated on the sill creating a secondary point of interest. I was careful to capture these details along with the subtle tones and textures of the wall. The bars are for protection against unwanted entry and add a further dynamic. Again, I was careful to capture a dusty feel of fading and chipped paint which I felt was very important to the painting. Outside is just a hint of vegetation particular to the area. The shadows are muted due to the almost opaque panes but are important none the less to the overall feel of strong sunlight outside. While inside the house working on the studies for this painting, I felt the strong presence of spirits and was thankful that I was working during the day! This watercolour is titled Afternoon Sun and measures 15" X 11".
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I have always been fascinated by windows and doors, perhaps because for me, they represent another world. On the outside we view what is there but sometimes get a glimpse of the world within and perhaps a hint of life inside. This is a theme that I return to again and again. It started many years ago when I still lived in Hong Kong. Being interested in the Chinese culture, I often prowled around old and abandoned villages. What interested me the most was how the Chinese way of life had changed. Many old ways were left by the wayside and it was here that I found many clues to the past. Old lanterns were left rusting on dusty windowsills; wooden watering cans decayed beside the broken steps of a fresh water spring. In one old abandoned building, I found a rice winnowing machine that was still in perfect working order. Standing there, I felt the passing of the ages and was deeply moved. Looking outside was as interesting as looking in and these images and experiences gave birth to a series of paintings that continue on today.
It was in Maine that I saw the barn window above. I focused on the single window as along with the shadows from the noon-time sun, there were a number of interesting objects inside. Some were readily identifiable, others were indistinct and shadowy. I also noted the two cracked panes and took care during the painting process to include those details. This watercolor was a pleasant journey from the basic washes I first applied to establish the general tone of the piece through to the final details. As is usual in my watercolors, I slowly build up washes of color until I am happy with the result. The painting size is 30" X 22".