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Saturday, March 19, 2011


Friedrich A Graf Rutowski

Sebastiano Ricci

Jacopo Tintoretto Jona Leaves the Whale's Belly

William Adolphe Bouguereau Portrait of Eugene Bouguereau 1850

Giderot Troison Mademoiselle Lange as Danae

Baron Francois Pascal Simon Gerard Desiree Clary, Queen of Sweden

Jean Baptiste Greuze The White Hat

Frederick Church Edwin Moses viewing the Promised Land 1846

I have become obsessed with exploring ovals, as a format and as a compositional motif.
As with most creative explorations, this fascination reared its rounded head unexpectedly.
In the past, I've made circular pictures and painted elliptical subject matter (fuel drums receding into space, satellite dishes, tank farms, and so forth) - but I have never worked on oval canvasses, deeming them too emotional, corny or retardataire. No time to address this nagging insecurity, this unreasonable fear, like the present! Above are a fistful of art historical examples of this tried and true shape; a superb shape for portraiture (busts) because of the way it echoes the contours of the sitter's head and the attitude of the shoulders. Excellent for landscape when tipped sideways. Maybe it has something to do with our perception - the way we see, given the shape of the human eye socket - our scope of vision. I hope to post a few of my own 'ovals' in my next installment.

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