Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Below the Belt"

12 x 12"

I may have said this before - when I'm in a museum, I find myself so focused on looking at people rather than the art. It's been an obsession since I was a kid - watching the human figure and studying how we move, stand, balance, sit ...... all of it. And when I start a painting, there's always something that stands out right away - a feature that is essentially why I'm interested in the photograph in the first place. In this case, I saw this gentleman and his clothes as one united, interesting form - I felt the weight of the fabric, the heavy load of the backpack and especially the zigzags created by the folds of the pants. I just love that feature.

I also saw the warmth of the overall tones - the golds, reds, greys - and chose to paint a rich, paprika-like color on top of the black surface I usually start with and hoped it would peek through in parts as long as I didn't go too far and cover it all up. The challenge being to let the edges do what they do, without nit picking. Like here in the legs .....

I was so happy with the some of the red showing through the creamy wall and the looseness of the shadows around the Picasso - again allowing edges to overlap and disappear into each other. That's what I get when I stay away from small brushes - I'm forced to take more control of the strokes but I can't over-paint it.

This young man was studying Picasso's 'Mother and Child', which hangs in the Modern Wing in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Please click here for a larger view.


Terri Buchholz said...

It's so good to see your new works and worth the wait! I look forward to getting home from work to log on and see what new wonder has unfolded from your observations. I love the zig-zag lines of this guy's legs. I'm so curious about how you manage to photograph these people!

Autumn Leaves said...

This painting speaks to me on several levels, Karin. What most intrigues me (and I am a people watcher myself, though I tend to wonder at their lives and who they are than seeing them with an artist's eyes) is the dichotomy of this fellow and his youth and style enjoying art like he seems to be doing. A lesson in why we shouldn't judge anyone. I love this one and for some odd reason, I think this young man would be proud to know he was your subject. Also, I always think of Picasso as an abstract artist. I know he isn't (I went to a Picasso show at the Tacoma Art Museum), but still, I am always taken by surprise by the beauty of his other artworks.

Brigittemarie said...

The contrast between the figure and the painting he's studying is beautiful! So many wonderful little "moments" in this painting!! Love reading about your work!

Annie Salness said...

Karin, congratulations on your new show! Well done,as usual! Thank you for sharing your favorite details in your pieces. It is always nice to get more insight. I hope you find a fun way to relax and celebrate!

Barbara Pask said...

Karin, Your new show looks fabulous. I would love to see your work up close, some day I hope to. Your paintings are so interesting with all that juicy paint and brush strokes. Your work has a sense of humor too that we all can connect with.