The Heart Has Its Own Reference – Notes from the Creekside

TM9641 The Heart Has Its Own Reference 36×80 diptych, oil on panels

Monet’s cycle of huge paintings based on his water lily pond has always held me enthralled – even at the scale of a reproduction in a book. The magnificence of being immersed in his world and nature, the iridescence of his pulsing color, the enormity of his leap of faith in starting the project – it does feed the human spirit. It’s also as though Mr. Monet were goading me to think bigger, try harder. I’ve been listening. The Heart Has Its Own Reference is another large diptych based on my own humble little creek running near the studio and through the industrial part of Framingham. It has its own magic, especially in the warmer months when filtered light squeezes through the overhanging branches and lush growth. The creek is quite narrow, so the brush on my side seems to merge with the reflections from the far side. There’s a rich tangle of vines and some flowering trees; enough to keep me occupied for some time. I hope this new painting marks the beginning of a much larger series of diptychs (did I hear Monet say triptychs?) based on my creek. Details below, including three views from the first few days of painting. Enjoy.

Technical painting notes: the sequence of images below show the development of the painting

TM9641 The Heart Has Its Own Reference – results of first day’s work. The major color areas and rhythms are blocked in. (note my new used easel on the right – many thanks to my neighbors Linda and Henry for facilitating this fabulous purchase)
TM9641The Heart Has Its Own Reference – day two I start to find the negative areas between reflections and introduce more linear elements
TM9641The Heart Has Its Own Reference – day three brings some refinements to the color and lots of details from the reflections and brush overhanging the creek. The addition of some neutral gray/blue tones in the shadows calms down the intensity
TM9641 The Heart Has Its Own Reference 36×80 diptych, oil on panels, finished

Post script

When the painting was first posted, it had the title “Notes from the Creekside” However, that seemed too descriptive of the place it was based on, as though I didn’t trust the viewer to enjoy the painting without knowing about the creek. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was really about a place I love, and the joy of painting – a celebration. That’s when I changed the tile to “The Heart Has Its Own Reference,” a play on the idea of reference to the outside world and the inner world, as well as the way the heart ultimately tells us what to do.

2 thoughts on “The Heart Has Its Own Reference – Notes from the Creekside

    • Thank you, Mary Jane. I woke up this morning with an idea for a changed title – my poets are still influencing everything I do. Love you.

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