THE GUARD

THE GUARD
BY DEBRA CHMELINA 2010
OIL ON CANVAS
11x14 WITHOUT FRAME
SOLD

This painting was created with the technique of impasto. Some parts of the figures actually protrude from the canvas such as the legs of the piano as seen in the picture below. This style of painting takes a long time as the layers of paint must be built up and allowed to dry in different stages. This results in a very rich textured painting that changes character from light and movement.

This painting illustrates the technique of  impasto. From the columns and walls, to the piano itself, protruding paint is visible to the eye adding intensity and richness. There is a philosophy connected with the painting as well. The woman appears to be the central figure, but her attention is on ‘the guard’ (the name of the painting). It appears that she is being protected by the sentinel soldier from intruders, while at the same time a pool of water in the foreground hinders her freedom of movement. Is she really being  protected or guarded?  The woman in the painting is a symbol of a free people. The piano is personal achievement and hope. The guard is the government. The pool is the edge of despair and termination. That being said, the philosophy of the painting is about how personal freedom and government affect our lives. Are we being protected or guarded? Though the two words mean the same, like the reflection in the pool there is an uncertainty about them.

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Information about Impasto

In English, the borrowed Italian word impasto most commonly refers to a technique used in painting, where paint is laid on an area of the surface (or the entire canvas very thickly, usually thickly enough that the brush or  painting knife strokes are visible. Paint can also be mixed right on the canvas. When dry, impasto provides texture, the paint appears to be coming out of the canvas.

The word impasto is Italian in origin; in that language it means "dough" or "mixture"; the verb "impastare" translates variously as "to knead", or "to paste". Italian usage of "impasto" includes both a painting and a potting technique. According to Webster's New World College Dictionary, the root noun of impasto is pasta, whose primary meaning in Italian is paste. Oil Paint is most suitable to the impasto painting technique, due to its thickness and slow drying time.Acrylic paint  can also be impastoed. Impasto is generally not possible in watercolour or tempera without the addition of thickening agent due to the inherent thinness of these media. An artist working in pastels can produce a limited impasto effect by pressing a soft pastel firmly against the paper.

Impastoed paint serves several purposes. First, it makes the light reflect in a particular way, giving the artist additional control over the play of light on the painting. Second, it can add expressiveness to the painting, the viewer being able to notice the strength and speed applied by the artist. Third, impasto can push a painting into a three dimensional sculptural rendering. The first objective was originally sought by masters such as Rembrandt, Titian, and Vermeer to represent folds in clothes or jewels: it was then juxtaposed with more delicate painting. Much later, the French Impressionists created entire canvases of rich impasto textures. Vincent Van Gogh used it frequently for aesthetics and expression.Abstract Expressionists such as Hans Hofman and Willem de Kooning also made extensive use of it, motivated in part by a desire to create paintings which dramatically record the "action" of painting itself. Still more recently,Frank Auerbach has used such heavy impasto that some of his paintings become almost three-dimensional.

Because impasto gives texture to the painting, it can be opposed to flat, smooth, or blending techniques.


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impasto

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