In my growing fascination with light and shadows and trying to capture these effects, I’ve come across this artist, Wendy Artin. I think her figure work is sublime. I’ve been wondering about my own disinclination to include a background but I can see by looking at her work (of still lifes as well as human form) that it really isn’t necessary to do that to achieve a successful outcome, so I’ll stop worrying. I struggle with the idea that art must have meaning beyond simple aesthetics. To me these pieces are simply beautiful, they’re not trying to convey a message or challenge my perceptions in any way, they simply allow me to look and enjoy the forms, the pared-down technique, the soft, spare, but very clever, palette.
There is a quote by Adele Chatfield-Taylor of the American Academy in Rome in the film clip referenced below which describes Artin’s method thus: “She does not sketch her subject first; she watches what the light creates in her composition …. she doesn’t even paint the figure; she paints [that] effect … it almost looks like calligraphy”