Sunday, June 14, 2015

Transfixed by Translucency

Jacob Collins exhibit at Adelson Galleries, Inc., NYC
Lately I've been especially interested in the delicate transmission of light through objects. And last month I was totally transfixed by translucency, viewing the work of contemporary master  Jacob Collins at Adelson Gallery in New York.

I mean, just what happens to white paper when light goes through it. How are those subtle color changes and shadows created?

Check out the shadow and edge color in the enlarged insert of Jacob Collins' "Paper with Drawing Instruments" below. Incredible.

Using Photoshop's sampling tool, I compared the "white" on the left side (in brighter light) to the "white" near the pencil. Samples of those areas are shown in the two color boxes to the right of the detail, indicating the spectrum of "white" in his paper. Somehow, it's dramatic and subtle at the same time.

detail Paper with Drawing Instruments by Jacob Collins

In the full image below, looking from the brightest paper in full light at the left, to the paper farthest from the light source, you can really appreciate the range of value (light/shadow) and hue (color).
©2015 Jacob Collins, "Paper with Drawing Instruments," at Adelson Galleries Inc., NY

©2014 David Ligare at Hirschl & Adler Gallery

Another excellent example of painted translucency is David Ligare's "Telemachus and the Crow." Such intense, strong sunlight on the right side of the figure. And then the challenge is to intensify it to indicate the effect of that strong light on the translucent fabric drape.

So beautifully done, it glows.

Amram on Amram ©2015 Dorothy Lorenze oil on board 6x12"
So... with this "light painting" in mind, I went to the farmers market and bought some funky looking cheese to paint. 
This cheese is a product of the Bobolink Dairy & Bakery and they called it "Amram" in honor of their friend and music icon David Amram. Since I've been interested in painting paper, as well as cheese, this seemed the perfect combination of objets d'art. 
Amram cheese on Amram sheet music! 
The music sheet is actually a copy of David Amram's "CanciĆ³n de Verano," which means "Song of Summer." Also perfect for the occasion since Amram is an early cheese from this wonderful, small, raw-milk, dairy farm making cheeses from grass-fed cows, aged in caves! The cheese, not the cows. 
You can check out their latest "vintage" (milkage? lactage?) at Pleasantville Farmers market on Saturday mornings.
My "Amram on Amram," complete with sheets of paper, that is foreshortened and somewhat translucent. The really tricky part was the curled paper edges. An exciting challenge over all!


  1. Beautiful paintings that gave you inspiration to make a beautiful painting!

    1. Thanks so much Sally! The process was really enjoyable.


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