Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Intimacy and art

Two of my Postcard Series pieces, Meadow 1 & 2 where sold while I was away. They are so pleasing in their intricacy and smallness. I don't know about you, but I prefer my work on the intimate side. Using a small scale requires the viewer to come close and observe, to find the hidden treasures layered beneath the obvious surface features. To me that act is a little like the unfolding that occurs in any relationship over time. The obvious turns into subtle layers of intricacy.

Sometimes art is about one's intimate connections to a person or place or sometimes it is both. Ruskin's Rose which is in the Summer Show at The Leyton Gallery is just such a piece.

I love Venice and since visiting there I've read many books that reference this magical city. One book I was quite taken with was Ruskin's Rose which is about John Ruskin, the esteemed nineteenth century art historian. In 1858 he fell in love with a young Irish girl, Rose La Touche. When Rose died, Ruskin fled to Venice to seek solace. Unfortunately the dangerous romance of Venice's canals and bridges intensified his emotions in every way. He found himself caught adrift, not having a reason to stay in the city or to leave until one day he discovered the paintings of fifteenth - century artist Vittore Carnaccio and found Rose in the fairy-tale portraits.

The red rose in my painting symbolizes the vital beauty of Venice which flows and changes through history as well as enduring love. Consistent with my other work is the exploration of the idea that everything changes with time.


Sherwood Harrington said...

Lovely rose, lovely story, and great to have you back.

Margaret Ryall said...

Thanks Sherwood. It's great to be on home turf but the trip was fantastic. I'm visualizing myself as "topped up" as when you add oil to your engine. I didn't make it to the gardens in Essex this trip, but we are planning a separate trip to England in the near future. I will allow several days in the area because of the connections to Birr.

Four Seasons in a Life said...

It completely depends upon the subject matter. Of course one can poke holes into this statement, but generally speaking an abstract needs to be large for impact while a painting such as your of the rose needs to have the intimacy so that it can relate on an intellectual and emotion level.

I prefer my landscapes to be either 8x10 or 11x14 inches, though I have done 16x20 and even 16x24 inches. What I have noticed is that once I go larger, I need to employ a larger brush, resulting in the viewer to step back. One a smaller canvas, the brush is much smaller and the viewer steps in closer and we have reached a level of intimacy.

When I said there were exceptions, I was referring only abstracts, as I have a few that are under 12x12 inches, but then I was also using very small pieces of paper to construct the image, along with paint. This could not have been effective on a large scale, only a small one and so intimacy on an abstract is possible.

I feel You have provided me with a possible idea for a future post, so I will add this to my notebook.

Thank you for sharing your work and ideas with us.

Wishing you a wonderful start to the week,

I am just going to add you to my blog roll on both my sites and deal with the redesign later. I hate the idea of not engaging with you on an intellectual and artist level. -e