Beast Of The Field

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A Beast Of The Field, oil on canvas, 52 x 52 inches, copyright ©2015

"A Beast Of The Field" is a new studio painting, based on photographs and studies done in the field. I was intrigued by the sheer muscularity of the animal, a beast in the field. I wanted to see if I could capture a sense of the dynamism of the subject, the movement and rippling sinew and muscle.

The first image represents what artists traditionally call "the cartoon." It doesn't mean Warner Bros. "that's all folks." It's basically a schematic for where the colors and values will reside. Some cartoons are quite elaborate, and the artist doesn't deviate from the original drawing. In other cases, especially since Titian, the cartoon serves as a basic foundation for an essay in improvisation. Different approaches achieve different results, and all are valid.

Subsequent images reveal the development of the "lay-in." In this phase of the painting, broad areas of proximate color are laid in, getting as close to the "big light effect" as possible.

Some may see in this image a profile of an animal that echoes the cave paintings, such as those at Lascaux, Altamira, El Castillo, or those recently found at uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park, South Africa. No one has any idea re. the aesthetic or ceremonial function of such images. Those people were hunter-gatherers, and we have no evidence that they had domesticated farm animals. But I don't disinvite such comparisons. Art is one way that we delineate and encompass our experience, and the cow is a significant part of that. It is such a gentle creature, and one that has given us so much over the centuries. Thank you cow, for your faithful service.
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