|A Walk in Springtime 12x24 oil/panel|
|Path to the Sea 12x24, oil/panel|
A few weeks ago, I wrote about what I call "natural divider diptychs." I've been playing more with the concept lately. Just as a reminder, a natural divider diptych is a wide painting that is divided in half by a natural object, such as a tree, with each half working as a complete painting as well as contributing to the unified whole.
Traditional diptychs are indeed two separate paintings, often hung together on a wall. I've always felt that treating a beautifully panoramic landscape this way weakens it. However, by using a natural divider, one that is right there in the landscape, the integrity of the scene is maintained. Furthermore, the divider creates a certain amount of necessary tension and adds interest; nor is it any longer just wasted wall space.
Or, at least, this is how I feel about it.
In the first painting, "A Walk in Springtime," the figure on the left is taking a walk, and the right half tells us the walk is by the sea. She is following the water's edge through the woods. Light spilling in from the right over the water also illuminates the left and the figure, unifying the two halves. Without the central tree, the painting would still work, but the addition adds a dark, mysterious quality to the piece. If you block off one half of the painting or the other, you will see that each half is composed to function as its own painting.
In the second painting, "Path to the Sea," the figure on the left is seated, gazing out toward the right half. Again, light spills in from the right, illuminating the left panel. Color and subject serve to unify both halves - the pink tones of the apple trees and the bright spring greens. Also, as with the first painting, I feel that the central tree adds a note of mystery and drama.
Enough about the diptych concept. What about the rule of not placing a dominant feature in the center of a painting? I'm breaking that rule. In both cases, the tree - which isn't necessarily the center of interest, but it is a point of interest - is centrally placed. But, I think it works.
I'd love to hear your thoughts! Meanwhile, I shall continue to explore this idea.