On three women and two layers

On three women and two layers

I made this last week. It measures 24″ x 20″:

I’m using two layers of silk instead of four or five. With this technique the line becomes clearer; it’s a more graphic approach. When I finished this piece my initial feeling was that it was too literal. But it’s growing on me.

I labored more than I have in a while with this one. Here’s a sequence of how the work developed. At first I was using five layers depicting two figures in a pink environment. Towards the end of the process I edited it down to two layers, added a figure, and put them in a yellow environment:

On three women and two layers
I’m never completely sure how the individual figures will come out. So I don’t have total control over them. But what this piece taught me is that what I do have control over is composition. 

Here are four smaller pieces using two layers:

On three women and two layers
On three women and two layers
On three women and two layers
On three women and two layers
The delicacy and abstraction of the pink one is intriguing to me. I’m coming to terms with the fact that less can be more. My knee-jerk reaction is to add more layers thinking that that is how I will achieve depth and luminosity. But I’m surprised with how much depth I can get using fewer layers.
I also have reworked the 48″ x 36″ piece that I wrote about on my last post. Here’s what it initially looked like:
On three women and two layers
At first I thought that the surface texture was taking away from the piece. But then I grew to like the texture. I realized that I in fact had it the other way around; the image was taking away from the surface quality rather than the surface quality taking away from the image. So I added a rich, dark brown silk layer over the painting to mute the figure:
On three women and two layers
It may be too subtle. But the longer I sit with it the more the figure emerges.

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