was so utterly impressed recently with the Edgar Payne show that I had
to try a painting on a more grand scale. It's interesting looking at his
work with mature eyes. I can remember when I first saw his work and
like most newer painters, you think it's about the thick brush work.
It's so not. Every mark in his best paintings is a design element. The
strokes tell us something about the form. The shapes are carefully
designed to be interesting versions of reality. The patterns are
thoughtful designed and executed to be brilliant passages of calligraphy
that would stand on there own if you were to peel them off the canvas.
the subtle color modulation reveals a plane change. His design is
deceptive because it comes off as simplistic in that it seems like
anyone can make a thick brush stroke BUT that stroke carries with it the
weight of strong design, solid drawing, clear separation of light and
dark, modulated color and the complete understanding of the 3
dimensional space he's indicating on a flat surface!!
fascinating to have my memory of what I used to see in his work and
compare it to what I AM able to see now. They're are very few living
painters of the landscape who have such control over drawing, design,
composition and careful value and color control today. Lack of drawing
today I think is robbing us of the understanding of form and
composition. Drawing isn't a trick of the wrist, it's a method of
understanding form and design.
posted by robh @ 10:19 AM