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Friday, September 16, 2011

Take This Path

A path for a painter is like a melody line or chord progression for a composer.  It's our way of getting the viewers' attention then guiding their eyes to the areas where we want them to travel.   We use a variety of methods to achieve this.  Look at this painting by Jennifer McChristain.  Where do your eyes first go?

Jennifer McChristian         "Rue Saint-Antoine"
Oil on Canvas 
The first thing I see is two people walking toward us.  After that I notice the other two people,  cars, and then the overall scene. Then, as an afterthought, my eye goes to the red sign in the upper left of the painting then to the rear of a truck exiting the scene.  The sign and truck bring my eyes back to the figures.  That's the path.



Experiencing this work is like feeling a chord progression pulling us from one area to another before we come back to the major key.  To keep the chord moving, the artist uses temperature contrast (the warm colors used in the building, figures and truck within the cooler colors of the buildings, street and sky), isolation (the dark figures within a light space), and one-point perspective (angles of the street and buildings vanishing to a single point).

That's better than a bagel with butter and jam.

Note:  After a long hiatus, I hope I'm back to doing regular weekend posts on this blog.  Thanks for hanging in there with me.

4 comments:

Anamaria said...

Welcome back, Dianne! I'm so glad you are posting again, I like so much coming here.I always learn from you. Wish you a happy weekend!

Cindi said...

hi dianne,, sorry ive been a miss too.. and hoping to get back and especially to enjoy your blog.. love your work and your teachings.. thanks.. hope you are doing well..
cindi

Ehsan Maleki said...

Great compositional analysis! Just wanted to add I see warm patches of orange and red almost everywhere to help pull all the elements together! Could it be another explanation for the shop sign and the sign on the truck?

Dianne Mize said...

Good observation, Ehsan. Both purposes served by those warm colors, and more.