a multi-disciplinary dialog
Posted by Angela Ferreira on December 9th, 2006
Medium: Oil on canvas
Filed in Uncategorized
Angela, interesting image. Reminds me in some ways of Italian religious paintings, with the glowing baby pointing out something in the heavens to the woman. Also thanks for the Fado link to Wikipedia. I wasn’t aware of the music style. Still don’t know what it sounds like, but it was good to read the history and look at the pretty singers :)
I am not sure I understand the question, but maybe that’s ok. Do you mean this is a new style for you? Regardless, I enjoy the painting and am reminded of El Greco. Anytime I see a baby (esp one sitting naked in a street) I think “danger, danger.” It looks like it is trying to get this dreamy woman’s attention, but that’s a little hard to tell on this scale. Very provocative.
I am fascinated by the transitions and colors that are appearing in your work now. There is a whole new level to your painting. New style, an experiment or just a passageway? This sounds like exactly the question an artist can muse over when they are doing what artists always should be doing — growing and developing. As long as you cannot answer your own question, you doing well, that’s how I see it.
The drop in space on the left side is almost dizzying, almost as though we are looking down rather than along a line of buildings. This creates a strong drama.
Leslie, the colors are a bit like El Greco, but not really the same. And the forms, especially the baby, are completely different of course.
Angela, this is a wonderful image on the web. How does the real painting compare?
This is by far the most powerful thing I’ve seen you do. I’m not even going to try to interpret it, but right away, I get the sometimes mixed and torn feelings a parent can have towards a child. There are higher callings sometimes, but dare we even speak this?
This is a courageous work.
I am glad to see you limit your pallete. The emphasis on tone greatly enhances the emotional impact of this piece.
Well done. Well done.
I don’t know your work well, but this does seem to continue the mother-baby subject from “Mirror, mirror,” and I think the palette is very similar, though subdued as Rex says. I can’t tell if the attention of the figures is toward the sky or toward the flowers or the streetlight, which stand out as the only detail besides the figures. The setting made me think at first of the nearly empty, surreal streets of de Chirico, with all the dark doorways, though his are normally in hard light with strong shadow (and other differences of course). That with the dark sky enhances the sense of possible danger that Leslie mentioned.
Good point about the de Chirico connection. There is something of that feeling here, but as you say, Angela does it with a completely different lighting scheme. Both this picture and the Mirror, mirror painting are quite different from Angela’s previous work (Youth, love, eclipse and snogging for example). Different, but still bold. It is exciting to witness her continuing growth as an artist. As you can see, she is extremely ambitious. She sets huge challenges for herself, stands in a place where it is easy to fall. I think she keeps her balance.
Like your previous painting posted here, I wonder if the references to another place and time: El Greco (sky), cityscape (Toledo?), dress, etc., only take me further away from the central (and interesting) drama of the distance between mother and child.
Can the possibilities move beyond the general references (historical symbolism) and maybe become even more personal? For example, I wonder if the relationship between the flowers and the sky parallel the relationship between the mother and child? Does the cityscape (and toned down flatness) only interfere with these living relationships?
My feeling is that style can be an anchor and for many, they find comfort with that security (they know what they will do every morning when they wake up), but art, I believe, has the unique quality of being more… exploratory and vital. Sometimes, it can even break your heart.
Here is a link to an artist and a work I admire greatly.
Once there, go to “Writing” and then “I Been Wanting To Go Home”.
So much to learn. I’m not sure I understand exactly what you mean by ‘limit your palette’ and I’m quite sure I don’t understand why an emphasis on tone enhances the emotional impact of the piece.
When you say ‘limit the palette’ are you talking about working with a small set of hues, or are you talking about limiting the saturation of the colors used? How does doing this affect the emotional impact?
I’m not sure what you mean by you “or just a ….” question.
This image seems to me to have a number of things in common with the last one you posted. Obviously there are some differences – colour and tone amongst them – but the imagery is related. So I see this as a continuation, not a departure. Only you can know what you intended.
David thanks for the comparison. Glad you enjoyed reading about Fado.
Leslie what I mean by the question is that this last paintings I am making are very different where I was going before. So I was wondering if this would be something new to continue or just a phase. I am kinda of emotionally attached of what I painting before so I am debating if I should change or not, so I decided to just let it be whatever happens next.
El Greco colours mmhhhh I see the resemblance, thanks!
Karl Zipser you always seem to understand me exactly, put in words so simply thanks for the support.
Rex thank you for the supportive criticism.
D thanks for sharing with me this artist you really admire.
I understand the historical time you are referring but to me can still look contemporary. The traditional long black dress is still used today by Fado singers and many streets in Portugal still historical preserved just like this picture. I understand it may look like a few centuries ago but it is part of the beauty of Fado music, dark, distant, cold, aged…
Paul Butzi I have no idea about the scientific or technical part of using hues… I use colours instinctively and I feel I am in a darker mood at the moment and enjoying it.
Colin that is exactly what I mean, these last paintings are turning away from my bright cheery uplifting colours… like for example click on this link http://angela.coolfly.co.uk/fullsize_oil/incense_burner.jpg a good example of previous style and compare it to what I am doing now.
Rather than a mother-child interaction it is a relationship with one’s own child within. The child is sliding away and her side of the road is becoming indistinct – it signifies a turning away from childish trust and dependency felt earlier. The woman is looking towards the sky, her side of the street has flowers hanging from a light – enlightenment is sought for and it equates with life and beauty.
Nice; though sky and title sort of mislead me to think in a more melancholic way.
Wow Birgit you are brilliant!
A. (and B.):
Way back. Way way back… in college, I wrote a paper about a painting by Barnett Newman. It was called (appx.) “Who is afraid of Blue, Yellow and Red.” As I saw it only in reproduction, it was clearly a black and white painting. I remember attempting to promote BN as rethinking his “zips” in a more playful manner, a retreat from the more ambitious reading of his work as High Creativity (“Atonement”). I got a good grade along with the surpising revelation that the painting was not black, white and grey, but really blue, yellow and red.
I share this because, I never noticed that your babies were toys.
After viewing your “Mirror” painting last week I made the comment that I was particularly drawn to the mother-child (as two separate persons) relationship. It seems to me a wonderful, contemporary topic. After reading BZ’s response and then, yours, I thought I should look again at the work to see what I had missed. Although it is not entirely clear to me in the above image (because of its very small size), I was quite startled to see that the “baby” in “Mirror” was a toy or, more specifically, a doll. Obviously, that matters and I was apologizing for my poor viewership.
I was critical of PB earlier for asking viewers to look at so many images. I suppose I should apolgize to him and instead simply recognize that, for me, looking at art is hard and time-consuming and exhausting and sometimes, frustrating and sometimes, exhilarating.
It has long been a maxim of painting that strong contrasts of light and dark enhance drama while bright, pretty colors are proper to happy, sweet feelings, what the French called “lyrical” and characteristic of say, Impressionism.
One way to limit a pallete is simply to cut the high saturation colors by mixing them with their complements or grays. White and black both kill color, so highly colorful pieces have to use a narrow range of tones. The emotional impact is achieved by the heightened drama of the light dark relationships — what I call emphasis on tone, eschewing as I do the word “values” in this context.
I am sure you’ve achieved this in your own work, for the parallels in photography are virtually identical.
D my work is about my life experiences at the time, my true feelings.
Being a mother is a big inspiration in my art. The relationship mother-child vs myself-childwithin can be very similar in my own world…
The doll in Mirror mirror is like a symbol of motherhood, a true fact that my daughters toys in this case her doll gets mixed up with my own paintbrushes and materials.
In this one Fado, I see this baby more like myself and well as the mother, as I see my own child like me and my mother as me… how many times when watching my daughter I have memories of my own childhood? Its all part of my life experiences at this very moment…
I am fascinated by your work with perspective. I can look at your sliding street now more clearly because I am back at my own computer where I can copy your image into adobe photoshop and enlarge it. I am practising drawing (continuing from where I left off 30 years ago) because I am interested in working with 3-dimensionality.