Mgdalena III (RED!!!)


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I took a class to retain my teaching license in the Fall/Winter semester shortly after completing the previous pastel painting, Speak No Evil. Over the summer I had a chance to see Rothko's Seagrams paintings and I was impressed at just how expressive a large field of color... especially RED... could be.

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During the semester, I had the chance to hang a bunch of my paintings in the school gallery and photograph them. I was struck by the sheer impact of the RED... especially under the spotlights. I began a new painting with the aim of using color similar to that of Speak No Evil... even toying with the idea of making a triptych. I moved the figure lower in the composition to suggests (perhaps) visual weight pushing down on her... as well as to increase the amount of RED. I even chose to place her in a dress... based on the dress in a photograph of an old college girlfriend... to allow for even more RED:

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The painting is very simple... but I feel it is still effective. If I were to do it again today I know of a lot of things I would add and/or do differently... but I've come to accept that I am not the same artist now as I was then. :)
VERY effective IMHO..

I love red, and it is interesting to see how much of it can used without overwhelming or destroying the other elements of a painting. Of course, it helps in this paticular painting that gold and black are also favorites of mine.

It looks like her eyes might be a light blue-green, and I would be tempted to echo them with a emerald/turquoise, gold chain and black pearl neclace, and/or bracelet. That might destroy the appealing simplicity however, and be a tyro's mistake. IDK.

I like it a lot - Better than the Rothkos.
I have no photos of details of this painting so I can't tell you what color her eyes are. I know there was a good deal of red in the corners of her eyes and around them... which makes her look as if she'd been crying... which would make sense for the Magdalena. I'm guessing that the eyes are a green of some sort. Today I would likely add some sort of jewelry... a choker, bracelet, and rings... as well as some sort of detail to the dress. But I wouldn't do it to this one because I like the simplicity as well.
The red ones are always good

-Gerhard Richter
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