Friday, May 16, 2008

"Thorns"

This wall in shadow is a nice setting to isolate this solitary figure against.
It's the same place as in this painting.


"Thorns", 8"x 10" oil on linen, Frank Gardner © 2008
Private Collection

This guy is carrying thin branches from a mesquite tree. He will bend them, while they are still green and pliable, into crowns of thorns. Then dry them.

You may wonder why a lot of the figures in my paintings are walking away. I think that it ads to the movement by having them walking into the scene as opposed to out of it at me. That would be a much more static pose. Most of the time I would rather have the viewer being led into my painting.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

--- was not only drawn into the painting but also drawn to follow the man down the street and around the corner into the shadows as he walks where his face is looking.

can see his seasoned gait moving through your painting.

i really enjoyed the larger view i clicked on...the colors in the back wall, the shadows, the green of the "thorns"...(am reminded of your Good Friday post with the crown of thorns over the man's hat)...
there's something very spiritual about that man carrying those green thorns as his daily walk.

thank you for such a nice end to my evening! your painting and marc hanson's spring forest - great visions to take with me into sleep!

David Lobenberg said...

I agree Frank. Same street as a recent and previous post. Got a series happening here?

A wildlife gardener said...

I wanted to follow the man to see where he was going and what was round the corner...definitely a narrative painting, Frank :)

Would you like to see my Chinese dragon painted on silk? Here's the link :)

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_SRJAqXNdv9c/SBc_MXqXJUI/AAAAAAAACyE/YqF1CB4r498/s1600-h/Chinese+Dragon+Silk+Painting.jpg

bonnieluria said...

The background scene may be the same yet the painting has a completely different effect.
It reminds me of the soft glow of light that follows a rain shower in the early morning.

Seeing your figures leaving instead of coming really captivates the viewer and pulls you in- beckoning you to follow.

This is another beauty Frank.

Frank Gardner said...

Hello Anonymous. Thank you for the kind comments.
Glad you noticed the subtle stuff like his head turned a bit to the right.
Well, it is around the corner from that Good Friday painting. If I panned back, the church is straight ahead. Same crowns of thorns.
I cropped in close on these compositions, a simpler background suited my needs better.
I'll be posting some of the same scene with a broader view soon.
That painting of Marc's is simple and well done. I visited it a few times yesterday.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi David. It is a bit of a series. I like working in series so I don't feel the need to cram it all into one piece.
I can try different colors, compositions, and levels of finish. It is all about learning to make better paintings right?
Thanks for stopping by.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks wildlifegardener.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Bonnie. Interesting how those colors work for you. There was no rain around at that time of year (March).
We have had some unusually early May rains this year. I love the smell of the clean air after a rain.
Thanks for you thoughts, as always.

FCP said...

My favorite figurative paintings always depict figures walking away from the viewer. I think not seeing the face adds a wonderful element of mystery.
Lovely painting, Frank!
Faye

Alicia PadrĂ³n said...

Ohh I love this.. I love his pace, his stride.. it's got rhythm (can you hear it :o))

This street is marvelous on it own, don't know why really, find it very interesting. This one is different from the other painting, the subject of course and also it seems cooler to me even though the colors of the walls are warm.

I agree, people walking away in a painting are always much more interesting.
My theory is for 2 reasons: First you don't get to see their faces so there is a mystery right there, and the second and most important, is that to me, a painting is like a doorway to another world and having people walk away giving their backs to us is an invitation to follow them.. that is why I think we feel more drawn in.

Awesome work Frank!

Anonymous said...

...the crown of thorns has been an ongoing topic of meditation and conversation for a couple of months - so interesting that you have painted about thorns......this remains with me.....

and, i can't say why, exactly, but i was very moved by what you said about Marc's painting.

i wish i had something to share back.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Faye. I think you are right. That is good to know that others like figures moving away from the viewer too.
Thanks.

Frank Gardner said...

Alicia, It does have some cooler colors. The green and blue of the figure push it a little. I am doing several of this street, but going for different effects/ moods.
Thanks for your thoughts on people walking away.
:-)

Frank Gardner said...

Hi again Anonymous. I'm glad that this one speaks to you in that way. Even though the thorns are not visible. I guess the title makes this one. The absence of much distraction in the painting kind of gives that feeling of meditation or calm.
I appreciate your visits.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I recognized the scene right away from the previous painting of it. I like it very much.

Sheila Vaughan said...

You have an excellent eye for colour Frank. Makes me realise how far I have to go yet. The big planes like the walls and floor surface are full of subtle colour variations and yet they act as a whole. Beautiful painting.

Ambera said...

Thanks for the nice comment on my blog Frank, I have no doubt i'll be eating more Jelly Bellies than the average person can handle.
This is quite a corner. You've painted it so well and with such a sense of familiarity, that it was instantly recognizable from the previous painting.
I like the idea of doing series of people moving through this same place.

Anonymous said...

no need to comment back.....but, yes, there are thorns - the green bundle, poignantly luminous even without your blog-post explanation - in your painting; it's not just the title.

a few months ago, I heard someone explain the prophetic fulfillments of the crown of thorns. I'd never heard it before; and ran through my thoughts all these months.

Somewhere in there, on this unrelated journey through artist blogs/sites, I saw your Good Friday blog and the paintings surrounding it.....then, your painting and blog from a couple of days ago - awe-ingly, it all brought my thoughts before my eyes......

and, I had just been telling someone about the thorn crown when your "Thorns" post came up.

It's like that.
: )
: )
: )

Amy Sullivan said...

Frank, I too knew this corner right away.Isn't it wonderful to think , that if anyone who loves your paintings(many)would want to search out this very spot, in your lovely town in Mexico.
That is something I would do.
This old fellow is alive in your painting.
We want to go back & forth to compare the two paintings. The light is different.You know they were done at two different times of the day.What a happy corner.Love it.
amy

Dean H. said...

Excellent job as always, Frank. I too like the figure from the back concept. For one thing, when seen from the front, it becomes a portrait in the viewer's mind. Then they start thinking "who does that look like", etc. It turns into a distraction instead of provoking thought and mystery.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Mary.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks a lot Sheila. I love this corner because of those big planes.
Thanks for visiting.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Ambera. Good luck with that. The jelly bellies that is.
Thanks!

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Amy, it won't be too hard to find once I put up my next piece. (maybe next piece).
If you looked hard enough you could find another post on My Paint Box that would give it away.
The time of day is similar in these two paintings. I think it is all of the reflected warm light on the three figures that makes it look a lot hotter.
Thanks for the comments.

Frank Gardner said...

Good point Dean. Thanks.

theresamillerwatercolors said...

i love your blog! have a great day!

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Theresa! You have a great day too! Thanks for looking.

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

Once again the simplicity of this piece is captivating Frank. The warm light and subtle colour...I love the way the green in the bundle of thorns adds so much colour to the painting against the muted tones of the surrounding background. A really wonderful painting Frank!

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Jeffrey. I appreciate your comments and the visit to my blog.

Simon S. Andrews said...

very nice work. I couldn't imagine selling something for $600, that's awesome... hehe. My biggest seller was like 250 or something :(

Paz said...

Very interesting. Thanks for the explanation re: why the figures are walking away in your paintings. Makes a lot of sense. I like this painting (I like all your paintings).

Paz

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Simon, good to hear from you, it's been a while.
It is a lot better to start out with low prices and sell as much as you can. Raise them slowly once you're selling consistently.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Paz.
Much appreciated as always.

onpainting said...

A beautiful painting.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks onpainting.

Terry Rafferty said...

I recognized the site immediately from your "untitled" painting - a beautiful, evocative place. As others noted, I want to see what's around the corner, or where the figure(s) came from - very narrative.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Terry! I'll have to take all of you around that corner some day.