A Big Project

“MOMA’S Vertigo”
Watercolor, 22″ x 30″

“MOMA’s Vertigo” Detail

After not painting for some length of time, I find my hand and mind are gripped in tightness and focused on doing the best I can. In the throes of painting daily, the looseness takes over and the concern for doing well takes a backseat to experimenting. This painting certainly would take the award for concern and tightness . . . . .but I could not help myself! It was what I had seen and how it reverberated and rattled in my mind for days after seeing it that so convinced me it was worth the effort. And there was substantial effort to make this baby fly . . .believe me!
The vision was of the floor on the ground floor of the NY Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). These colored stripes had been installed on the floor via tape of varying widths and in nonrepeating sequences of hue. Standing on the floor and feeling my eyes jangle about was one thing . . . . . .but to view that same place from two stories had near delirious effects !! It was both dizzying and spectacular . . . .and thus the title, “MOMA’s Vertigo.”

Yes, anal would be a description of the artist’s temperament while painting this piece. Parallels, angles, sequences, sizes, directions could all be thrown off by even the slightest error . . .and then it would compound and multiply! So, one line at a time was painted with ultimate care using every masking and shielding technique I could muster to insure freshness and purity of color. Shadows were used to, in part, set up the composition, while the jutting direction changes helped to guide the eye to the wanted focal point. This piece has been the most cautious and mind bending watercolor I have ever painted. It has taken exactly three weeks of daily concentration and effort. Was it worth it?

You be the judge.

21 thoughts on “A Big Project”

  1. I love the vibrant colors in your paintings. I like your blog too. Would you like to do a link exchange? I’m a fellow artist trying to build my ranking by getting more reciprocal links.

  2. YES! It was totally worth it!
    I don’t know about you but, in this effort to experiment, learn and stay loose I begin to doubt if I have what it takes anymore to paint a decent picture with some control and knowledge. Sometimes you need to go back just to stay sane.

    Excellent concept and title!!!

  3. Yer right again, Dave! I am a nut case! 😉 Thanks for your encouragement. I think I still have a little teensy bit of adjusting to do to this piece before it is done . . .in particular, the shadows.

  4. SILVI !!!! I have missed hearing from you! I know it is my own fault for not posting much, but still wonder how you are doing.

    Tightness doesn’t always make for emotional content, in my opinion. It isn’t accuracy or details that make a design work. In this instance, though, the design of the floor via color sequences, the line and opposing directions make it work.

    Thanks so much for coming by and leaving behind your positive support!

  5. Man Mike! Great stuff. Love the title, design, and skill level of the execution. The shadow colors are spot on.
    Like this one, it was worth every hour you put into it.

    Maybe after taking it to this extreme, a nice loose one is in order next.

  6. Thanks, Frank! Am working on a ‘regular’ painting that isn’t quite the exercise in obsessive compulsive behavior! ;p) gotta crank up the oils this month, too!

  7. Ah! The Good Doctor Weiss has appeared !!! Sure is great to hear from you, Rob! I been nosin’ around on your blog too and love what I am seeing!

  8. Faye!! I missed responding to you! Thanks for the encouragement! This had to have been a labor of love or it never would have reached the finish point! Glad you stopped in.

  9. Obviously I’ve been away too long from your blog Mike.. My apologies. This one is STUPENDOUS! wow.. Definitely advanced color and mark making.. wow.. very impressive demonstration of discipline. Really GREAT!

Join in and comment!