Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Artist's Comments by Doug Mays

            Thank you for your insight. I’m always curious to know what others see in a painting – good, bad or indifferent. Do they see what I see? Do they feel what I feel? What attracts them to this painting over another?
In this particular ‘plein air’ painting, I had the good fortune to have nestled my easel on or near the very spot that J.E.H. MacDonald painted his famous Tangled Garden. I believe this fact alone brings this painting well beyond being a ‘simple’ landscape since I was seeing, smelling, tasting, touching and hearing the sounds of theTangled Garden the same as J.E.H. did almost a century ago.  
I’m pleased that you were attracted to and picked out the patch of violet flowers in the bottom left quadrant as your initial landing spot and then you moved on to the splash of sunlight in the background, the soft yellow compliment. Next, I’m sure I painted this more intuitively than consciously, but I completed the triangular pattern (shown above) by allowing the dominant vertical tree trunks to take the viewer back to the muted yellow/green foliage in the right foreground. The bold tree trunks also take on a secondary role by acting as ‘edge block’ or as I like to call them - ‘visual speed bumps’. This technique prevents the viewer’s eye from wandering from the ‘sweet spot’ of the painting.
You are accurate in observing a circular pattern, which was achieved with sufficient edge block and by implying muted, abstract shapes of various value and temperature in the less-important pieces outside the ‘Golden Mean’.
And finally, I would be the last one to suggest that my painting should be even mentioned in the same paragraph as that of JEH’s Tangled Garden. That notwithstanding, what a thrill it is to know that our boots shared the same soil from this Hallowed Ground

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