Atelier Stark: Shapes and Planes

This past week, I thought a lot about shapes and planes as means of abstraction.

This past week, I thought a lot about shapes and planes as means of abstraction.

First is a watercolor painting of a view out a window of the Leaning Tower of Pisa from my last trip to Italy — it was a day trip from Rome which was my home base. I wanted to capture the feeling and impression I remembered when I gazed out the tiny window framed by thick walls; the interesting shapes of the rooftops and the winding road that led to the horizon. I used geometric shapes and solid washes of color over and over again. Starting with the big geometric shapes, then smaller and then finding the relationship of the smaller shapes again to the larger ones. I wanted the absence of color to be very much part of the composition as the presence of color.

View of Pisa from a Leaning Tower, watercolor on Arches paper, 8x10 inches ©️Stark 2020
View of Pisa from a Leaning Tower, watercolor on Arches paper, 8×10 inches ©️Stark 2020

The second is an oil painting where I also explored how shapes and color build form. However, the shapes in this composition are much more organic. The shapes are defined by the brush strokes themselves. Similar to the geometric shapes of the roof tops, now the shapes created by the brush strokes formed the flowers, dress, face…

Queen Gazelle, oil on canvas panel, 12x16 inches ©️Stark 2020
Queen Gazelle, oil on canvas panel, 12×16 inches ©️Stark 2020

In both paintings, I searched for the balance between saying enough so the viewer can imagine very specific characteristics of each object and element while leaving out enough detail for the viewer to co-create the image that forms in their mind.

You can follow my work @lonistark.