Monday, February 01, 2010

Pink Lily and the Space in Between



I love painting flora and these lilies are one of my favourite of all flowers. Something I've been exploring recently in my paintings is the 'space between' the eye and the object. When we look at something do we just see what is right in front of our eyes or is that sight interfered with by our past, our emotions, our beliefs, or what our senses pick up? What comes between you and what you see? And what do you think is between me and this flower?

Here is a quote that echoes this train of thought:

"Tactile space, or, for the sake of simplicity, let us call it air, which exists between objects or shapes in the picture, is painted so that it gives the sensation of a solid. That is, air in a tactile painting is represented as actual substance rather than as emptiness. We might more readily conceive it if we picture a plate of jelly or, perhaps, soft putty, into which a series of objects are impressed at various depths.

"The artist who creates illusory space, on the other hand, is interested in conveying the illusion of appearance. In his very attempt to be faithful to appearances, however, he cannot give air any appearance of actual existence, for a gas cannot be seen..."
(Mark Rothko "The Artist's Reality: Philosophies of Art" p. 56)

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