The Space Between (Elk Lake) – 2011 – Hybrid on Canvas – 48″H x 36″W
The inspiration for this artwork was the experience of walking along the shore of Elk Lake in the Adirondacks, looking for a break in the trees in order to see the dramatic far shore with Dix Mountain rising in the distance. I was excited to finally find an opening and then got just as excited by the tangle of fallen trees whose demise made the view possible. My attention kept shifting between the two kinds of beauty. Because we were on our way to a hike, I only had time for photographs. But I knew that eventually I would want to combine the two different spaces in an artwork about divided attention. When the time came to work on it, I chose a vertical composition to emphasize the contrast between looking down and looking up and out. The hybrid approach allowed me to set up further shifts in focus throughout the work, including a contrast between the two vertical edges; photography dominates the left side and painting dominates the right side. As in many of the very large hybrid pieces I created a smaller version first that I could print in my studio. After painting on it I understood the options better and then adjusted the basic file before having the large version printed as a basis for painting.
The field of vision for my camera could only see part of the scene at a time. I combined the photos with blending software (pictured here is with software by DualAlign)
I used software to combine the photos and then used the image as a source for the full sized 48 x 36″ study. The first image is the study, next is the early stage of experimentation with the placement of sections of the photographs in which I kept the right side reserved for just painting. The last image is of the print upon which I painted.
The first image below is the final smaller version, after printing on paper and then painting (Elk Lake Shores 2011, hybrid on paper, 12×15.5″). The second image is the larger version that is in the exhibition, after printing on canvas and then painting (The Space Between).
The larger size allows for painting more active brushwork and delving more into smaller details. The larger scale also creates a more enveloping sense of space so that the viewer cannot take in the whole image from a short distance away. My work with both the digital manipulation and the painting often flows quite intuitively and I can’t recall how and why I created certain details, yet I am aware of how they are functioning in the piece. I do remember playing with how abstract to make the lower right corner. At one point it was a simple “x.” Eventually I worked to create the receding surface of the water in contrast to the flatness of the actual surface of the artwork and in tension with the obvious edges of the photographic detail. I even kept working on that corner and a few other details after it was exhibited in 2012.
The image below is a studio shot with the full sized study next to the nearly complete hybrid.Contact the artist to send a comment