I like the idea of a painting devoted to variations on one color or value – like the modernist’s black on black or white paintings. However, I need more than the concept, I need a lot of concrete content too – something to anchor the idea to the real world. Hence, my stone paintings. I think of them as conceptual abstractions with a realist’s vocabulary.
Patterns is a play on dark values and little color, but not quite black on black. The array of tumbled stones came mostly from Bass Rocks in Gloucester, Massachusetts. I developed the arrangement in the studio, with an eye toward creating rhythms and patterns within the overall composition. The stones with intrusions of quartz (white lines) are what one of my friends calls “lucky stones.” Jane, I put them there for you. The tiny red seeds and leaves come from the driveway near my studio. They look a lot like detritus I saw at Bass Rocks. I felt they wanted to jump into the painting, so I let them. Details below. Enjoy.
Technical painting notes: I used Liquin Impasto on the first layer to build up some textures, then painted the stones using Liquin original medium. I defined the stones first, then dabbed dozens of layers of glaze onto them to simulate color and some texture.