Paintings by Dianne Mize

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I'm taking a risk.  I know myself well enough to know that if I talk too much about a painting while it's germinating, I tend to stall the brush-pushing part.  I want to be careful not to create expectations that might sneak into the process and distort where a painting might go.  But this time, I'm going to take that risk and to share with you something I discovered.

I've not been able to let go of the moth theme since this Polyphemus moth chose my screen porch to lay her eggs and then die.  I photographed her at least twice before that happened.  This particular viewpoint has been in the back of my mind all summer.

Drawing after drawing failed to even get close to whatever's grabbing my attention.  So on a whelm, I googled "polyphemus" and discovered that moths tend to use celestial navigation.  I had earlier noticed the pattern of striations on the moth's wings, all seeming to lean toward her head, but when I went back to take a closer look, I found that they were all leaning to a point above the head.  Linear perspective calls such a convergence a vanishing point.

Prep drawing for watercolor painting  22" x 22"
Nature uses repetitions of patterns everywhere, so just for fun, using the celestial navigation principle, I drew a sphere with lines vanishing to a single point, like the navel of an orange.  Then I drew the moth within that sphere, placeing it slightly below the navel, allow its striations to follow that point.  Joila.  I did a larger version on watercolor paper where the painting will evolve.

That's where I am now and that's why I've been so quiet.

Enjoy your Tuesday.

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