Oil Painting of Two Women on the Beach by Christopher Cart
A simple conversation at the beach. *Egg/oil emulsion on panel. 19.5 x 24 inches
In the collection of the artist’s wife.
I really like the choppiness of the brushwork. While it may be tempting to smooth and render everything in, in this case I wanted the fractured brushwork to add to the heat and color movement of the day. I like the look of paint, when paint creates illusion but also lives on its own as brushstrokes to see.
I took great care to design the composition of this piece. The boxiness of the arms and legs in a figure eight flow, and framed with the towels–the left sliver of striped towel with the echoed shape the sand on the right act as parenthesis to the whole. The round bracelet hanging from the driftwood stick adds to the story but is also an important anchor in the composition.
I wanted a composition that was both peaceful and yet entwined the figures so we could see the seriousness of their chat. Take out either figure and the composition fails, each woman needs the other. Composition is not just design of plunking things around a canvas. It should also be adding to the narrative of the whole.
While I feel there are plenty of artists out there who may be able to render with paint better than me, I know one of my strengths is in playing with composition…building an interwoven set of pieces to make the whole.
*an egg and oil emulsion is related to egg tempera—in fact the egg yolk used in traditional egg tempera is an emulsion. But here I have used the egg yolk and blended in linseed oil and water…literally threw it all in a blender and mixed the hell out of it. It makes a great painting medium. Gives the paint some aspects of working with oils and also dries quickly as egg tempera does. Fun stuff. I mixed my palette everyday with the emulsion and powdered pigments.