"Seeing Atmosphere"

Sometimes I use this blog as a way to catalog certain paintings or words by others that I want to "keep." I'm recommitting to more posting along these lines! To this end, an interview with Eve Mansdorf on Painting Perceptions is making the rounds amongst painter friends and I, too, have found riches in it. I especially love what Mansdorf has to say about "painting the immaterial aspects of what makes the thing be there," which to me seems connected to her thoughts about leaving her paintings open. 

"Early on it was a very conscious thing to try to get air in my paintings. At this point it has become intuitive and I can’t help it. With still lifes I would set things up to make that happen. I would group things so that objects would merge into each other and then, in comparison, other things would appear more distinct. So there is a kind of seeing atmosphere and figuring out how to paint that atmosphere as much as trying to paint the objects themselves. It’s like painting the light as much as you’re painting the object. Painting the immaterial aspects of what makes the thing be there. But with the larger figure paintings there is a way I’m moving the painting around for quite awhile during the process of painting it, so it’s literally open in a certain way for a long time and maybe parts of it don’t ever completely close up. I’m still pushing it around when the painting is just about finished.... 

"I will work on a painting as long as it’s still in the studio and hasn’t been shown yet. It’s always up for grabs. My painting process at this point allows for that to happen. I often start a painting and really go at it for a while but after several months reach this point where I get stuck and don’t know what to do next or maybe I just hate the painting and don’t want to look at it for a while. I will let it sit while I work on something else. I wouldn’t have done this earlier in my painting life, I might have been more destructive, but I now realize it can be a fruitful thing to leave it just sitting there. I will start something else and it usually seems like after about 6 months I’ll turn around one day and get a new idea about it and start painting it again. However, once I’ve put the work in a show or it’s really been seen in a public way I can feel detached from it. Even if it comes back to the studio; it’s almost like it’s not mine anymore, even if I realize things I should have done."

Eve Mansdorf,  Kiddy Pool , 48 x 40 inch oil on linen on panel

Eve Mansdorf, Kiddy Pool, 48 x 40 inch oil on linen on panel

Eve Mansdorf,  Shark Pool , 32 x 24 inch oil on muslin on panel

Eve Mansdorf, Shark Pool, 32 x 24 inch oil on muslin on panel