Monday, May 3, 2010

Mirror Lake by Franklin Carmichael

Franklin Carmichael

When I look at this work, I am intriqued by the visual pathway that Carmichael creates to take me into his work. Its a stop and go affair. The foreground hills with their light colour values arrest my visual journey with a barracade of darker hills which separate it from the lake.

Ok, lets start over. The small bay on the bottom left is in the traditional beginning place for taking us on a visual walk into the heart of the work. But it goes into the reflected lake white. But here's where it ends. Horizontal lines of darker values block us from moving upwards.

But there's more. There's a dynamic visual energy which is played out between the sets of trees and my eyes seem to be transmitted and reflected back and forth between these points.

This dynamic interplay is strengthened by contrast, for the work is minimalistic.
There are only two sets trees. There no logs, no birds, no twiggy bits, no grass. No other distractions. Just rocks and lake. and the thinnest of sky lines.

There is another important point of contrast contrast. The trees are the only sharply defined, vertical objects in the painting. Sure, the foreground rocks to the right lurch their way up to the lake but that's about it.

Sometimes less is more: Beautiful, undulating, flowing lines, appealing colours and two sets of trees. What else does it take to make a painting work?

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