Monday, February 11, 2013

Nocturne for the Lunar New Year

Continuing the series of abstract paintings on plastic sheeting, this is the latest completion. 

Nocturne 02-13, 30" x 28", oil on plastic sheet, 2013.

For the purposes of this series, I prefer plastic sheeting over canvas. The plastic sheet offers an ultra smooth surface, lacking any form of tooth that canvas has. Whereas on canvas the paint can be dragged with a brush just catching the tooth, the plastic surface picks up every brushstroke. The plastic sheet allows me to scrape away paint more effectively, or I can use a stiff dry brush to scumble through wet paint, to reveal the layers beneath and create delicate subtleties. 

In this painting, there is no representational image to latch onto, nor is there a rational explanation which I expect the view to get. But although abstract, the painting is a record of something.

I suppose the title Nocturne can be considered a reference to James Whistler who often painted scenes with titles similar to musical compositions. When Whistler was questioned by a lawyer who criticized one of his paintings for lacking beauty, Whistler responded, "What is the particular beauty of the picture? I don't think I could make it clear to you, any more than a musician could explain the beauty of a harmony to a person who had no ear."

Happy Lunar New Year, and thanks for viewing.

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