Three Square Foot Paintings

Three Square Foot Paintings — from May 2019

Painting on a square panel presents a challenge from the perspective of composition. There’s less room to lead the viewer’s eye into and around the painting.  It’s tempting to put the focal point in the dead centre and be done with it, but the result can be boring if the subject isn’t compelling.

Below are three square foot paintings on cradled wood paintings that I prepared for the annual square foot show at the Westland Gallery in London, Ontario.

The first is “Sunset Sail, after Mundy”.  I’ve been experimenting with landscape techniques since spring. This painting is one study inspired by a great work from the contemporary impressionist painter C.W. Mundy. My version also uses a very limited palette but with a greater range of values and different shapes suitable for a square foot painting. The subject reminds me of a sunset sail we took off of Key West in March on the schooner Appledore, plus classic works of old schooners and galleys sailing into the sun by Hendrik Willem Mesdag (“Golden Sails In The Sunset”) and Caspar David Friedrich (“Sailing Ship”). I’m not an impressionist painter but I love how poetic moods can be established with a few natural elements–sun, wind, water–loose brushwork, and one essential colour.