Many years ago, walking in the Sleeping Bear Dunes on a snowy day, Troels and I took photos of one another. Making a montage of these photos in adobe photoshop and using some tricks, produced most of the red and green seen here.
After a decade, I pulled the picture out of storage to fix its ‘value’ problem, meaning there was not a wide enough range of light and dark. Now orange and yellow were introduced as lighter colors. An artist friend encouraged me to add even lighter hues. But I liked what I saw and did not want to risk further changes. Now I am contemplating to make a copy of the painting but adding lighter colors.
One historical precedence of an artist copying an earlier motif with added changes is Titian, the 16th-century Italian artist. Titian copied his painting of an important cleric, with changes that comment on the cleric’s fate.
The two portraits show Archbishop Filippo Archinto, an Italian lawyer, diplomat, papal bureaucrat and finally archbishop. The first painting finished about 1555 (MET, NYC) is not considered remarkable compared to the second version (Philadelphia Museum of Art) painted in 1558, the year of Archinto’s death in exile. Political intrigues in Renaissance Italy prevented him from taking his legitimate post as archbishop of Milan.
In this second painting, Titian added a gauzy, white curtain that obscures half of the archbishop’s face from our view. The cape, here faded to reddish brown, had been painted purple. In the 16th century Vatican, brilliant purple stood for sorrow and suffering.
The changes Titian made in the second version of the portrait were not just aesthetic alterations but carried deeper symbolic meanings related to the subject’s fate and circumstances.
On a sunny summer day, breaking waves can have a lovely teal color at the shore of Lake Michigan. With the right angle of the sun, the thin transparent layer of water below the crest appears blue-green.
River of life that flows on, Troels said looking at this painting.
The body of water depicted here is called North Bar Lake. Currently, it is flowing into Lake Michigan which caused its water level to drop about a yard, thereby widening the curve of the sandy beach, here covered by snow.
A decade ago, someone filmed different spots around the globe for the full 24 hour day without naming the locations. Videos were projected in Times Square, NYC. North Bar Lake was one of the locations.
This is my first snow painting using as a motif one of the memorable spots around the world.
During a fierce storm, January 2021, Karl Zipser took a video of Lake Michigan waves at the Empire Village beach. We selected six frames for possible motifs. So far, I have painted four of the six frames (#1-4) as shown here:
There is no standard wave. The boiling water choreographs different dances.
My painting was based on a montage of three photos: a Northwest Pacific canoe, New Mexico clouds, the clouds and their shadows reflected on the backdrop of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
My painting expresses energy and Doig’s painting expresses the unease of drifting.
Quoting Nicholas Serota (former director of the Tate) : Doig’s paintings have a kind of mythic quality that’s both ancient and very, very modern. They seem to capture a contemporary sense of anxiety and melancholy and uncertainty. Lately, he’s gone more toward the sort of darkness we associate with Goya.