Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Primed Canvas + A Rough Sketch + A Photograph = A New Painting

I found a nice piece of cabinet-grade plywood (my "canvases" are usually plywood or masonite panels) left over from trimming a larger piece down for a previous painting, so I primed it to get it ready for a new one. I'm limited by the dimensions, which are 24" x 20", but I sketched out an idea that I think will fit here. Looks like it's time to breakout the old mannequin head and conch shell again. I love this mannequin head with its exaggerated neck and upturned head. I think it was made for displaying jewelry.

This painting will be primarily a still-life, as most of my paintings are, and as usual I will makeup a background. This time the background idea came from pre-surrealist/surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico's metaphysical town square series. A couple people have told me that some of my paintings remind them of De Chirico's work, so I decided to reacquaint myself with this influential artist. De Chirico's metaphysical period from 1909-1919 is what he is best known for. These are melancholy, dreamlike paintings concerned with myth, nostagia and desolation. The earliest of these were primarily haunting cityscapes inspired by the architecture of Turin. I decided the background of my new painting will be a De Chirico town square in ruins, crumbling arcades and pillars, a post-apocalyptic town square even more desolate than De Chirico's lonely cityscapes. Below are some examples of De Chirico's metaphysical towns.

This one is the one most people know from art history books:

"Mystery and Melancholy of a Street", 1914

"Piazza d'Italia", 1913

"The Soothsayer's Recompense", 1913

"Torino printanière", 1914

"L'Angoisse du départ", 1914

"Love Song", 1914

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