Beyond the Surface

Marcy Lansman

In January, my husband and I moved into Carol Woods, a retirement community in Chapel Hill. At our new home, we’ve made the “den” into an art studio. Now, for the first time, I have a separate room to paint in. For several months before and after the move, though, I was so distracted that I didn’t do any painting at all. When I finally sat down to paint in my new studio, I tried to make it easy. I laid out my favorite colors on the palette and began to doodle. I assumed that with time I’d move on to “real painting.” It never happened.

The doodles evolved into a series of paintings in which layers of warm oranges, yellows, pinks and reds alternated with layers of cool blue-greens. In these paintings the warm colors often appear to be shining through a cool film. For me, the title of our current featured artists show, “Beyond the Surface,” refers to the fact that earlier layers interact with surface layers to produce the end result.

As I continued to work with this idea, I experimented with dripping the cool layers over the warm layers.

And in a few cases, I was so enamored with the initial warm layers that I couldn’t bare to cover them up with the blue.

In a final variation on the warms vs. cools theme, I started out each painting by pasting torn pieces of brown paper (think grocery bags) to the canvas, creating a sort of mosaic, then painted on top of this surface. The resulting paintings were reminiscent of rocky landscapes.

To see more paintings in the warm/cool series, please go to my website, in the gallery entitled “New Abstracts 2017.”


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