Figurative lines

100_3147.JPG A new piece in this tactile impasto style. I am learning a whole lot working in this technique. It is a very precise technique where every line has to have a meaning. I’ve likened it to calligraphy before and that is exactly how I feel about it. every line has to have a purpose and be very precise. It looks very simple and fast, but, like a swan, there is a lot going on beneath the placid exterior.

The lines are sculpted (for lack of a better word) very fast. each one has to be a strong, confident stroke, twisting the knife to get different widths and effects. Little things can turn the knife, like the grain of the canvas or the texture of the paint, or often nothing at all. With something like this I will carve the form over and over again, smoothing it back and doing it again. sometimes I will get a section right and be able to leave it, but mostly the interrelations of the lines mean I frequently will need to do the entire figure over. The key frustration of this is that I might have a line that is good, but I will seek more from it and will erase it in the hopes that the next one will be perfect.

This gives a great insight into the nature of lines and form. What does each line mean, what does it suggest? if I turn my knife this way I can get a whole different feeling to that way.. what is needed to suggest this figure and to create the feeling I want? What will happen if I change this? Often I will let myself go and just sculpt until the figure leaps off the canvas. until it means something.

I’m always interested in your opinions and I don’t have a name for this one yet – it hasn’t told it’s name to me.. does it speak to you? what should I call it?

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2 thoughts on “Figurative lines

  1. I was initially stumped in suggesting a title by how smooth the painting feels to me. Perhaps that’s what makes it so attractive. The lines are lovely, clean and flowing. It does not scream or shout, it just … is… in a serene and graceful way.

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