Playing With Space

"Davenport Drop"

oil on canvas panel, 8" x 10"

This weekend I spent a lot of time at the easel and on line studying one man’s paintings . . . . . Gregory Stocks . . .google him. His stuff is very well done. And it is well done because . . . .

In every painting there is a concise division of the picture space . . . .or division of space as it is called. I spent a few hours this morning wishing I could do the same . . .then with pencil in hand, I began sketching and **designing** some landscape scenes. What do I mean by designing? Well . . . creating from something already known but fitting something into a divided space. The horizon of the water in this little painting is at a very critical spot on the canvas. And not by accident. The right hand edge of the cliff is also dancing on another division. Notice that edge and the left edge of the painting make a square? Can you see it? (Look at the sketches above. The marks outside the edges of each sketch show the lines on which these lie. See the bottom center sketch.) There is another imaginary square whose lower left corner touches the upper right corner of the cliff. The large square and that little square were set up first before any “Things” or objects were put into the drawing. These two squares came from the GOLDEN MEAN. If you want to know more about that, Google it, too. Mr. Stocks uses it a lot in his paintings.

That space division seems to be a highly interesting set of proportions to us humans. I have no idea why, but the concept has been around since the ancient Greeks put it to use. Once you know of it, you will see it everywhere.

So, I did around 10 sketches this morning trying to put the golden mean to use . . .and force fit a subject into it . . . .then, with the challenge of using only a few simple colors . . . . . .Alizirin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Cad Yellow Medium and White . . .I set about avoiding the typical GREEN tree. I really like the freshness of this piece. I wasn’t concerned with details or things. Just colors and space and how I would fit it together.

It was fun! Yes, I did struggle a bit in the sketching. The trick is to not give up. The stuff is waiting inside of us. We just have to find the access to let it out . . . .and sometimes it takes a while.

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