Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Be There or Be Square

Spring Lines, 2008, Oil on Panel, 9x18

One of my favorite painting formats has always been the square. I have painted many square paintings over the past few years and it was really working for me. There was something about the easy flow, and the circular movement of working within it that really appealed to me.

However, the last time I did a successful square paintings was last November or so, when I did a series of 9 inch square paintings for the show at The Harrison Gallery. Each square painting I have attempted since then has ended in frustration and I now have a whole pile of square panels in my sand down pile. Not only small and cute 9 inch squares either, there are big ones; 3 feet and even 4 feet square. Very annoying.

But I am a fickle girl and I have totally been feeling the love for long and narrow rectangles lately, though. 9x18 has been a favorite, as well as 6x12. And when I last ordered panels, I requested four 20x40 panels. Can't wait to get those primed and ready to go!

All of this is making a difference in my imagery. Instead of the circular movements of the square, I am thinking in blocks, short horizontal bits of imagery if I am working in a vertical rectangular format. The horizontal format gives me the opportunity to paint long, languid, flowing compositions which are particularly challenging for me. Mostly I prefer working with the vertical, but I am always pleased with what happens in the horizontal too. Hardly any of those have gone to the sand down pile!

I hope the square thing will come back to me though; last year I was on a square panel buying binge and I have at least 857 of them in my panel inventory. Well, maybe not quite that many, but close.


Stacey Peterson said...

I love your long vertical format paintings lately.

I've been on a bit of a binge with this format too - just finished some 18x36 horizontal landscapes... I always think I need to do some more squares, but I never order the panels - I'll have to remember to order some more sooon!

Cindy said...

Amazingly beautiful color! I love the long vertical rectangle.

vivien said...

I have a love affair with squares as well - but also long vertical shapes- quite extreme long thin shapes

- the one shape I don't enjoy so much is the conventional rectangle.

Kesha Bruce said...

Oh darn. I was just reading on another blog how the artworld is going through this square canvas phase....and then someone compared it to a boxing ring.

Anyway, I'm stuck on square canvases now.

Maybe it comes and goes and magically you'll be doing squares again one day soon?

Tracy said...

Thanks Stacy, I am obsessed again with the tree lines and field foregrounds and I am liking how they compose on the vertical. Hmmm, 18x36 sounds good......

Thanks Cindy!

Vivien, I am not a big fan of the regular rectangles either, although they do make up most of what I paint on. Something very universal about the 18x24.

Kesha, I hope I get back to squares. I probably will, and I will have plenty of panels on hand when I do:) Love the squares you just posted by the way!