The Garden Room Couplet: Painting Revised

More revisions of paintings done earlier this summer. This is a couplet (a miniature version of a panorama) painted with my friend Willa in our back garden room. The “room” has an ancient huge magnolia tree inside the fence and twinkle-toes-fragile ash trees outside, in the parkings. On a hot summer day, the magnolia is a dark cool haven, while the ash trees along the street are white with heat.


Magnolia and Ash (left), 12 x 16″ Oil on masonite, 2009


Magnolia and Ash (Right), 12 x 16″, Oil on masonite, 2009


Magnolia and Ash Couplet, 12 x 32″, oil on masonite, 2009

As Jan pointed out, the magnolia has a slight taste of “Little Shop of Horrors,” a film which has informed a number of pieces in my art repertoire. In this case, it isn’t meant to terrify, only to dominate. Or try to dominate, against the fearless heat beyond.

The colors on my monitor don’t exactly represent the coolness of the naples yellow of the ash, which is, albeit an opaque whitish-yellow, actually yellow.  The “coolness” cane out of seeing the way the sun turned yellow-green leaves to near white. This was painted plein air, so it isn’t a case of the camera not being able to register the color — it actually seems to have been my eyes that caught these cool colors in a hot day. The magnolia, too, has “cool” (ie bluish) leaves.

Looking at the sheer gold of the ash leaves right now make their summer hues look positively frigid. As all the books will tell you, color is relative, and the warmth/coolness of colors, particularly relative:


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