I’ve gotten this picture to a point where I’m satisfied that it’s a completed work. That is, any more work on it seems counterproductive to the overall effect of the picture.
The underlying idea of the painting, a study of subtleties of color, space, light and shadow, seems resolved. As it was painted mainly at the location, within the Honolulu Museum of Art’s building complex, I was sometimes surprised a bit by the question “Why did you choose to paint this?”, which I was asked a few times.
For me, it was self evident. Can’t others see how wonderful this is? But once I considered it, I can also understand how the people who spend their working days here had naturally become accustomed to it, to the point where there was no longer anything terribly special about it. I have that experience every day in my own workplaces.
Coming to the courtyard with a fresh eye, my answer is that there is something of the sublime in the illumination, the colors of the containers and colors within the shadows; rich, complex grays with violets, blues, and yellows reflecting into them, constantly shifting and shimmering, and the quietness of the physical space. Maybe it’s only some painters who respond to this sort of thing, but I couldn’t miss it. A quiet corner, indeed, restful and renewing. I’ll never forget the experience of painting here.
“Quiet Corner-the Palm Courtyard” 18 x 22″ oil on linen canvas.