#336 - New Fish

12" x 12" Oil on 2" cradled hardboard  $295

"Water which is too pure has no fish."
-Zen Proverb (Ts'ai Ken T'an)

A new fish for a new experiment:
Perhaps I've been spending too much time on color lovers and using the color schemer app, but I think about colors schemes all the time. Plus, I've always loved color field painters like Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko. So although I love color field, it's a little too pure for me... so I put a fish in it! :D

Behind the literal is the metaphor that I still need the organic creation and expression of representational painting. The judgment of color is what painting is all about to me. I fumble my way through the drawing (the judgement of shape) part of painting, but a color is first to me. HOWEVER, a close second is "brushwork" which I really don't even know what that really means, BUT I know what I like: I feel brush size for the stroke is almost as important as the color of that strokes. Hell, I have every flat brush size (often doubles) and wish there were half sizes in between.

Anyhoo, my point is that, I love color field/schemes but I love brushwork and representational painting also. So now my experiment in these next few paintings (+ some after that) is to try to combine these things. Stay tuned and I'd like some feedback (including constructive criticism) on the this and forthcoming "Color Scheme Paintings" as I explore this area.

BTW- I'm painting bigger for these because I need the space and I want to be able to hang them on the wall unframed (it could always be framed later). The sides are around 2" thick and currently gessoed black, but I might experiment with that. It would be included in the color scheme? Perhaps a "black" or dark that reflects the overall color key of the painting?  Currently I handmake these cradled hardboard frames, but I might have to look at some good/affordable premade ones. We'll see.

I can't decide how hard or soft the lines that separate the colors should be. Maybe I should work those edges for variety and cohesion the same as I so for any subject? Many thoughts. Tell me yours in the comments. :)

See available paintings | Email me about a commission


tai said...

I enjoy your paintings and your thoughts on painting. If someone were to ask what strikes me about your paintings, it would be "great brush work" and "great color". And color choice is so hard, I think - it affects everything. Your paintings reflect a great appreciation of color and light - all the makings of an arresting image.

Unknown said...

I just recently came across your site and I am really enjoying you work, Jeff! Very, very nice!

Sunny Avocado Art said...


paintings love said...

i want to buy it now

Jeff Mahorney said...

Thanks guys for the feedback and for visiting. :)
Posting the next one this week.
Paintings love- sure if you want to put your money where you mouth is, it's just a click away above ("buy now") ;).