Another Recent Work: “Sun Rose”

"Sun Rose" Oil on canvas 36" x 36" © 2012 Marilyn Fenn

“Sun Rose”
Oil on canvas
36″ x 36″
© 2012 Marilyn Fenn

This is the second of two paintings made from sketches based on the sculptural works of Lee Bontecou.  For this one, I decided I needed more room to move on the canvas, so I moved up from a 24″ x 24″ canvas for the first one — “Energy Renewal” — to a 36″ x 36″ canvas for this one.  I initially intended to stick much closer to the sketch and the colors from the sketch on this painting as well.  However, the demands of the painting as I worked on it led to a much more simplified image, and an overall cooler palette.

I also decided to work with a palette knife using cold wax medium.  I’ve probably only done less than half-a-dozen previous studies and paintings working that way, so it felt like a learning process all over again.  This is a very fun way to work, as due to the wax medium, I can push the paint around, scratch through it, add to it endlessly, and work on every day without running into that tacky state where you have to let it dry before tackling the canvas again.

I spent about three or four weeks working on this, off and on (while other stuff was tearing me away), which gave me some extra time for reflection while engaged with this painting. I think in this case, the time spent staring at and contemplating this work while doing other (non-painting) work was beneficial to the overall process and result.

If you’re interested in viewing the transformation of this painting from sketch through all the interim stages to completion, I have documented the process in an album on G+: Sun Rose, from concept to completion. There are also a few detail shots of the beautiful pound of paint I used on this painting.

I am so pleased, also, that this painting sold the minute it was completed — and to another very talented artist, which is a great compliment!

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I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.

— Mark Rothko
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Comments on My Paintings
  • You should be an entertainment writer too. ;) Before I read the ‘unfinished’ statement I was thinking it’s ‘Under stated’ not a criticism just an option on style. I wondered if painting facial detail intimidated you ? Yet I believe you may have intended to add facial expression, although having none is a statement in itself. The tonal value overall is excellent and it almost reminds me of a more relaxed David Hockney. More fun, freer and there was me thinking the figure was wearing a baseball cap backwards. Well it was amusing to hear scholars debate your scarf. Too funny.
Gallery of Recent Paintings
Easter Confection - Oil on canvas - 4 x 4 - © 2015 Marilyn Fenn Our City - Oil painting by Marilyn Fenn Don't Look Down - Oil on Canvas - 10 x 10 - © 2015 Marilyn Fenn Small Color Painting 2014-014 - Oil painting by Marilyn Fenn