Elasticity and Motion

posted in: Painting | 1

This blog begins with me sitting in St. Louis’s International Airport in Missouri. As I sit here and rapidly turn my head I am aware of seeing color, but shapes tend to escape clear outlines. It’s only when I slow my eye movement that I can truly focus. If I look at my hand rapidly shaking my fingers I see only a blur just as if I looked into the blades of a moving fan. The object blurs when in motion. The blur can appear to extend the object. Remember holiday sparklers and their trailer effect as you twirled them in the darkness. They seemed to leave a trail of light, like a comet. I applied this experience when I painted the above pictures. The lights of the city’s traffic seem to elastically extend themselves as they move past the more static foreground figure with her reflective boots. In “Arrivals and Departures,” the those parts of my vision which appear to be moving (massed figures) blur and stretch like liquid taffy while other figures remain both still and, the subject of the center of my vision. I have selected out certain figures just like I would select out certain conversations in the cacophony of a party. Those elements on the periphery of my vision will tend to blur but also, not stretch or elasticize like a rapidly moving subjects (see the man with the hat in the lower right).

  1. Fredric Neuwirth

    The elasticity of objects also occurs in wet weather. Rain extends traffic lights, reflections & glare. Movement in rain also creates distortion. I need to look at snow & will do so shortly. The difficult part is the ability to reflect this in painting & not have it look static; the painting on the right captures this very effectively.

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