copyright 2010, Jan Blencowe, Connecticut, USA
The Crossing Place
24x30, acrylic on linen
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If you missed any of the videos documenting the creation of this painting you can view them on my YouTube Channel www.YouTube.com/janblencowe
So here it is, finis! There will be one more video, hopefully tomorrow, in which I will analyze the finished painting from the stand point of composition and color.
As I sit with this painting in the studio and observe the final outcome I'm struck by a few things. First, this is a rather solemn painting. It's mood goes beyond what even my usual subdued palette of colors creates. The large dark shapes, that at one point I described as hulking, have been tamed a bit but retain their ample, quiet strength. Because of the large dark shapes which convey such a sense of strength I find there is something very weighty and powerful in this painting, perhaps even something heroic. Second, the light seems cool to me, thin and pale. Which is hard to imagine since I broke out my Indian yellow for this piece and that should have warmed things up quite a bit. Perhaps what I'm sensing is the struggle of the light to break through and overcome the deep shadows in the trees. Perhaps that is the great heroic battle that is played out in this piece. It may be in some way a narrative about that which is gentler, and weaker eventually overcoming that which should have easily subdued it.
That thought brought to mind a few literary examples:
The feminine is more powerful than the masculine, the soft more powerful than the hard, the water more powerful than the rock ~ OSHO
In the confrontation betweeen the stream and the rock, the stream always wins- not through strength but through persistence ~ Buddah
Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good ~ Romans 12:21
The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveller coming down the road, and the Sun said: "I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveller to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin." So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveller. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveller wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveller, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.
The moral of the story is: Kindness effects more than severity ~Aesop
Interestingly enough I came across this painting today by J.E.H MacDonald, one of Canada's famous Group of Seven, it's called The Solemn Land, and in many ways it reminds me of my painting. It's not necessarily the painting style of brushwork and rendering, but rather the mood created by large powerful shapes that makes a connection.
J.E.H MacDonald The Solemn Land