A Bunch of Radishes
Oil on canvas, 9" x 9", 2011
GETTING EDGY AND TENSE
I have written about the power of the center ( week #7). In this painting of radishes I am interested in the tension that the sides of the composition exert on the subject matter. In other words, how to build tension. These radishes are more or less life size and if they were part of a larger grouping of objects they would appear small. By bring the sides of the canvas close to the tissue a certain tension is created and it gives the radishes a larger and more significant scale.
Francisco de Zurbaran (1598-1664)
oil on canvas, 14" x 16"
Museo D'art, Barcelona
Here the tension is carried to an extreme as the edge of the canvas actually crops the top of the quince. The composition gives the fruit a monumentality which is almost suffocating. I wonder if it is a fragment of a larger painting.
Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702-1789)
Basket of Apples
Pastel on vellum, 14" x 18"
Liotard has given his subject matter more breathing room. It results in a more serene and in my opinion a slightly more boring picture.
"I GOT RHYTHM"
Next to my easel I have a piece of paper where I have written the eight Platonic Requirements for Art. They have become my daily mantra. The last one is rhythm. Visual rhythm is energy, movement and sequencing . I have tried to make the radishes and the surrounding tissue visually rotate. At the same time, although the format is square, there is an upward building of form which gives the appearance of a more vertical composition, kind of like a Dutch windmill.