I am always inspired by the beauty of Spring in this state, with its rolling green oak-studded hills. The use of soft pastel lends itself well in the creation of this still-life because the pine needles are so linear in nature. View the full image on the Still-lifes page. View the full image on the Portraits page.
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View the full image on the Seascapes page. Oil painting by Jim Promessi, 26 x 36 in. California Art Club Exhibition. Tatiana with Flowers. The complementary colors are skillfully employed by the artist to create an illusion of pictorial depth. The entire composition reminds us the artist's stated desire to "make of Impressionism something solid and enduring, like the art in museums. It seems that the sitter exists purely for compositional purposes, her dress in itself serving as an excuse for the artist to experiment with various tones of red, like a convenient palette.
The stark geometrical accents dissect the canvas in both horizontal and vertical directions, thus creating the impression of a carefully arranged, monumental still life, as opposed to a portrait of a lifelong companion or "loved one. As though they came together around a simple peasant table for a seance or cosmic conference, the card players seem at once transient and unmoving, very much masters of their environment and yet weathered testaments of time's passing.
The brushstrokes themselves seemed to speak a visual poetry entirely apart from the painting's subject. What seems an "unfinished" composition nonetheless successfully suggests the feeling of nature without fully representing it, the overall canvas structured by intersecting diagonals that tip and turn out of the picture plane, like leaves shifting in the sunlight. This lively arrangement, along with the artist's obvious acknowledgment of the raw canvas as a positive component, directly anticipates the "incomplete" landscapes of the Fauves and provides future generations with a method to experiment with pictorial possibilities beyond the rigid tradition of naturalistic representation.
The view is rendered in what is essentially an abstract vocabulary. Rocks and trees are suggested by mere daubs of paint as opposed to being extensively depicted. The overall composition itself, however, is clearly representational and also follows in the ethos of Japanese prints. The looming mountain is reminiscent of a puzzle of various hues, assembled into a recognizable object.
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