My sister came to visit us this week, and between catching up, we took a few trips, one into SF to go to the SFMOMA, and the other up to Sacramento to visit the Crocker.Safari Notes: Admittedly I advocated for a Sunday trip to the Crocker to specifically scout out work from the Bay Area Figurative Movement, but surprisingly they didn’t have all that much. The above Richard Deibenkorn was a pleasant find. The swapping out of colors to suggest tonal changes of shadows moving over a floral pattern was a callback to lecturers referencing Pierre Bonnard’s similar use of tonal suggestion as well as the use of an open window to make the play of light a honest narrative. There was a surprise, just down the wall from Deibenkorn was this Joan Brown. She specifically gives permission to use raw color to create form. Tonal subtleties aren’t necessary if the proportions of the figure are dialed in.
Looking at the work above and below, these are simply incredible works that, if used as sources for work, could lead off into fantastic directions. I can only imagine what would spin out of using a live model to play with the idea above.
Of course looking at any of these, I’m shoehorning imaginary figures into the compositions. The pictorial color fields of Helen Lundeberg work beautifully with a nude in my minds eye.
Just to underline an issue that I dance around constantly rather than address head on and admit to myself… if I could paint like Richard Miller, then I would… every single day… without hesitation. The possibility does exist, but without proper study, it’s just unrealized.