Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make all the difference to a painting. I’ve been scratching my head worrying about what to do with the bottom half of the Geomantic Man painting for a very long time, so arriving at this point with only a few days to go before the show opens, to find a satisfying answer by drawing four lines and filling in three areas of colour seems particularly minimal. However, I think this addition will work very effectively to balance out the painting and pop the leg out from its background, which has been my primary beef about it as it stood blue on blue. I want to keep the focus on the sun, so the radiant areas will draw focus to the center of the piece, being ruled from the sun disk at the man’s heart, and also act as simple solar imagery.

Simplicity has entered my daily routine, permeating the things I do throughout the day. I’m trying to live as minimally as possible, and have begun to appreciate small pleasures as if they were great luxuries. It’s easy to think that pleasure has to cost more, be ever more extravagant, bigger, or brighter, but this is deceptive. For example, I stopped eating chocolate (it was tough) and now simple fruits taste fantastic, far better than they did before.

How does simplicity start to enter the paintings? If I want to find those delicious fruity moments in the pictures, what are the simple gestures that bring them out? Is this about finding more open space, more fields of open area – so that within the emptiness a figurative narrative can take place? This suggests scale, using large canvases with big open areas, minimal landscapes behind figures.

I hope that all of you reading this blog will be able to visit the exhibit in Glendale if you happen to be in California. There are quite a lot of you now. I’d love to see you at the gallery.

About pearce

Michael Pearce is an artist, writer, and professor of art. He is the author of "Art in the Age of Emergence."
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