Sunday, August 11, 2013

About the Painting

The Composition
"Nubes de Sangre" by Tom Mallon CLICK TO ENLARGE
The subject of the painting "Nubes de Sangre" is East San Francisco Street as it closes upon the Saint Francis Basilica. The painting is a triptych composition. It starts with a deserted street scene with a lone motorcycle to the left. It then moves towards the center portrait of the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. Finally, it ends to the right with the Basilica and parked cars.  Click here to view complete painting with details.

Triptych Composition

In the above figure, the painting is broken into these three distinct areas, marked with white white lines. Notice that each of the areas has a major anchor foreground object, which are highlighted with a blue box. First the motorcycle, then the pedestrians and finally, the parked van with the artist’s self-portrait. Lastly, there are the yellow direction arrows indicating the physiological movement each of the anchor objects promote. The motorcycle faces in. The pedestrians are moving out. The parked van to the far right faces in with the driver’s image reflected out in the mirror.

Three Intra-Compositions in One

Motorcycle Scene

The brilliant red motorcycle is parked on the asphalt road which takes on a mauve hue caused by the sanguine sky, a color often brought about by an approaching dust storm. The bike rests in front of on of Santa Fe's trademark adobe walls, tinted with magenta from the overcast. Some tropical trees are visible behind the wall before the museum walls, with the tops of cottonwood trees visible in the far distance, from the far street behind the museum. The sky is composes brilliant deep blues to contrast the reds and mauves at the bottom. In the sky is a cumulus cloud being torn apart by high winds. Its shadows are the same magentas highlighting the street.


Museum View

Aside from the diverging angles, the composition in the center portion of the painting is almost identical to the first third of the canvas. However, the movement is clearly forward as the pedestrians approach the view. This is reinforced by the use of the large show banner that hangs above, dwarfing the figures on the pavement below.


Finally, to the far right is the Basilica of Saint Francis. With the building being off to the left a large lamp post balances the negative space to the right and steers the viewer’s focus to the parked van with the artist’s self-portrait. 

Eye Movement Supporting Composition

The highlighted figure below illustrates how evenly the painting is driven by composition elements and corresponding eye movements. The left hand side of the painting drives down and into the Basilica to the far right with the Basilica and sky driving in an equally opposite movement to the upper left of the painting, perpetuating a counterclockwise movement.

In the figure below, the blue lines separate the overall compositional elements. The red arrows indicate the eye movement. So who says paintings have to be static?

The painting was completed in oil colors and measures 49 inches wide by 25.5 inches high. 


Got Feedback? 
Comments? Questions? Corrections? Any feedback at all? Just click on the comments box at the bottom of this page and enter your thoughts. All comments are welcome.

Detail from Santuario de Guadalupe by Tom Mallon
You might also be interested in...

Santuario de Guadalupethe oil painting by Tom Mallon. This 42" x 22" canvas is the latest addition to the Santa Fe Portrait Series. The Santuario is the oldest shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in the US.

Visit this later update by CLICKING HERE

Shostakovich by Tom Mallon
Latest Music Blog

Shostakovich and Cultural Snobbery, Could anyone survive Stalin's Purges, compose a large body, write for himself and the masses while producing constantly great work? 

Visit this later update by CLICKING HERE

Detail from Nubes de Sangre by Tom Mallon
Also of interest

Tom Mallon's website "MallonArt". This website will provide you with links to all his paintings, drawings and other artwork portfolios, including the ongoing series entitled the Santa Fe Portrait

Visit this later update by CLICKING HERE

 Copyright ©2013 Tom Mallon. All rights reserved.