Seven Twice, Seven Twice

Seven paintings are in each work, done twice.  One work has horizontal paintings arranged horizontally; the other work has horizontal paintings arranged vertically.  

Seven shapes are in each painting (one field; six chevrons - three each set opposite in confrontation).

Each shape has variations of one color (hue or saturation).  Visual orientation is for a transposition of Isaac Newton’s seven-color scale with one color in each similar shape in each painting across the seven paintings from one color to its complement.  

The odd number seven-color scale has complements for primaries chosen from tertiaries.  This means going with violet or indigo, say, as yellow’s complement rather than a violet and indigo mix.   By selecting a yellow to violet complement for the field (the largest shape) of each painting, each painting or visual step starts out with high value contrasts and proceeds with inexact gradations found intuitively and experimentally in the act of painting.  Various hue to complement versions play out back and forth left to right or right to left, up or down, such as violet to green, red to blue, orange to indigo, yellow to indigo as well as the more familiar red to green and blue to orange.

In each of these two works, realizing in paint the seven step sequencing concept in each painting and in all seven of each work didn’t solve the visual problem.  Something seemed to be missing.  Observational study revealed that positioning each painting horizontally and flipping over every other painting in the sequence gave a zig-zag, out of sequence oddity that was key to dialogue and discovery.  With that dynamic, each work “spoke,” bringing resolution and closure.

Jerry Walden 4/1/2017


Edge Over Easy 

In 2013, I re-evaluated earlier works aging in storage and found the good memories of painting them not sufficient to sustain their continued existence.  I saved, however, three long and narrow stretcher frames which were bolt-on 'wings' to larger, wider paintings.  The stretchers looked re-usable, I thought; and, I couldn't think of a good reason not to stretch new canvas and paint on these 8' x 1' x 3" formats as a group.  A new series of grouped paintings came about.      

Multiple, long and narrow paintings (panels) were arranged adjacently and painted complexly with colors selected arbitrarily and unified by a repainting of many of the 1" wide stripes or their fragments or 'shards' with colors chosen critically.   When harmonious color, distilled-to-resonance, and discordant color, linked by repetition across panel spacings, are brought by trial and error to a visual oneness, nothing can be added or taken away, and the painting exists.  

A stretcher's shape is a given form, and each panel evolves from the architectural dynamics of the stretcher itself, meaning points and directional lines ruled in pencil on the canvas surface duplicate the intersections and directions of the frame, corners and cross braces underneath.  Patterns of stripes repeat these layout lines, expanding outward, covering the canvas surface entirely, wrapping over the edges and disappearing around the back at the wall.

Along with sequenced numbers, titles have included parenthetical words or phrases, which may be the name of the unifying hue in the work or a mundane event like the weather that day or a recent travel destination or a whimsy.  In these latest paintings, the titles naming or referring to major artists simply came to mind while contemplating the unifying color key that evolved in the solution of each new work.  These titles refer to a flicker of remembrance on the many times seeing something in an artist's particular work or body of work that so affected me, often as challenge but most often as nurture and connection.  

Jerry Walden  1/5/2014