Composition 270 (blue)




For this as yet unnamed sequence of works, I have returned to using “end caps.”

Early in the Walking Wave series, due to my fumbling the extraction of images from digital video (regular vs. wide screen), the resulting pictures had  black letterbox fillers at left and right.  Since I rather liked that symmetry combined with the asymmetry of the image itself, I didn’t make corrections. Instead they became a part of the early series’ compositional motifs. I liked them so much that even after I solved my “extraction from video” problem, I tacked them onto compositions thematically.

Upon completion, I liked Composition 269. So naturally, my first impulse was to make another similar work. Since the end-caps had become so intentional, the thought arose to make them both a unifying and differentiating feature of the series.

But what color would be next? Primaries? Of light or of pigment?

Since I couldn’t decide which of the two color primary groups I wanted work with, I decided on the next color common to both. Composition 270 would be Blue. Thinking cool hues, I turned to the photos I had rejected for 269 and chose ones containing touches of lavender, maroon, green and purple.

I proceeded normally and at some point, days or weeks later, an itch in the back of my mind began to began to tell me I had gone too far. There was too much going on. That I had overworked the piece. I compared 269 to where 270 was at that time and it became apparent, yes, I had gone to far. But the real problem had begun when choosing the photos. When I had chosen based largely on color alone, perhaps I had chosen too narrowly.

Comp 269 used blocks of color as rhythm points across a predominately gray horizontal field. Those gray areas in turn visually combined to create the illusion of a plane in space beyond the figures. The photos selected for 270 had no such open space, and the dilemma had begun before I realized it.

Fortunately, one of the advantages on working on a computer is being able to take a picture of the work at the end of a creative session. I went back through the images for Composition 270 to determine the point where I had crossed the line from “satisfyingly full” to “obsession” and turned off layers I didn’t really need.

Even then it was much fuller than I liked but decided to take a “high road” attitude, mark it as a lesson learned and move on. My “low road” attitude being I was too frustrated with it to continue.


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