Saturday, 19 October 2013

Mi Blog Es Tu Blog - Alexandra Tyng

My friendship with Alex dates from the early days of pre-facebook social networking. We have subsequently met in London and recently at the opening of the Women Painting Women show in Alexandria, VA. In this blogpost she talks about one of the paintings in her recent show, The Unseen Aspect. Narratives of her own life are weaved in her work, lit by this beautifully clear and warm light. I admire her work very much.

The Letter A,  42” x 46”

Who are you?
I am an artist living and working in the Philadelphia, PA. area (USA).

Why this one:
It’s one of my latest series of figurative paintings. I haven’t painted a lot of self-portraits, because I don’t really enjoy looking in the mirror, but I did enjoy using myself as a character in a narrative painting. 

Something about it:
In high school we had to read The Scarlet Letter, and one of the scenes reminded me vividly of my own life when I was about 5 years old. It’s the scene in which Hester Prynne and her daughter Pearl stops in the woods, and the Reverend Dimmesdale sees them as he is walking by and joins them. Pearl is his child through an illicit affair with Hester. Hester would like to forge a bond between Pearl and Dimmesdale, but Pearl refuses to come to him because he won’t agree to walk with them into the village. Reading it, I thought of Pearl as a heroine for intuitively understanding there was something wrong with the situation and following her instincts.
The letter A stands for a lot of things in the painting and it appears many times in the abstract and descriptive elements of the composition. When I was a kid I lived in Philadelphia on a narrow street. Hardly any cars came through, so the children would spend many days drawing elaborate scenes and cities. In my painting, the child is totally absorbed in drawing her world, which is not only highly imagination-based but also perceptive of what is going on around her. She is the center of her world and the parents are important, but she is only partially aware of their presence. I wanted to paint myself in a way that described how it felt to be this age, to become aware of the world around me and of myself as a separate being, and to try to make sense of my world by drawing it.

Technical notes:
It’s oil on linen primed with acrylic gesso.

Where is it now:
At Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland, Maine.

Basic Palette:
Cadmium yellow light
Cadmium yellow deep
Cadmium orange
Cadmium red light
Perylene red
Permanent rose
Schevenings violet
Ultramarine violet
French ultramarine blue
Phthalo blue
Sevres Blue
Phthalo green
Chromium oxide
Courbet green
Sap green
Yellow Ochre
Raw sienna
Yellow ochre half-burnt
Venetian red
Burnt sienna
Burnt umber
Raw umber
Raw umber light
Titanium white
Ivory Black


Please note  that you can view all the other posts from this series by clicking on the tab below the title.

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