For my painting projects I turned to the works of Richard Diebenkorn and Gerhard Richter. There is an painting of a chair by Diebenkorn that has haunted me for years. How could someone imbue an ordinary object with such emotion? This is just a chair, but it seems so charged with history and longing.
I used a large window washing squeegee to pull the paint across the canvas. The result is compelling, giving the woman the appearance of being viewed from behind a screen or window. The distressed paint gives a stronger impression of place than the image did before. I am considering further manipulations to the paint, but am also taken with the accidental placement of the woman amidst the streaks of squeegeed colors.
For the second squeegee painting, the wet one, I chose a photograph of two Eames chairs to paint on a small canvas.I wanted to use the rich blue color in the Diebenkorn painting to perhaps convey a similar contemplative mood. the negative spaces around the curvy chairs put them into a conversational relationship. The chairs themselves are of a primary color while the background and floor are nondescript as they would be in a schoolroom setting. After rendering the chairs, I once again got out my squeegee and pulled it across the wet canvas. Not having a heavy settlement of paint upon my canvas caused the distress on the painting to be minimal. It did, however, change the mood from one of straightforward reality to on image slightly removed from common sense. The blurred pigment in the new painting removes the chairs from the schoolroom sending them to a place with an atmospheric quality. Perhaps they want to go to the beach?
When dry, I plan to send one of the chairs even further away by sanding it out of the picture entirely. By doing this I am hoping to infuse a sense of longing for partnership into the image. Here is a picture of the chairs half sanded. I wanted the erased part to have a pale glow, but it was difficult to get the pigment off of the canvas. The result is a scratchy patch with a ghost image of the second chair. I don’t believe that this image conveys any particular idea or emotion. Perhaps a simple charcoal outline of the former chair over the sanded area will bring presence to the canvas.
Conclusion: In critique it was recommended that Ii might continue to play with the squeegee, that the striated lines were interesting, but that I might consider a more limited palette.