The Stoopio Visit: 4:00 pm, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, with Don Doe, Cecilia Whittaker-Doe and Cathy Nan Quinlan

Like addicts seeking a fix, we met on the stoop, each carrying a painting we had made in the last two weeks.
We stood well apart as if we didn’t care for each other.

It felt illegal—the  law-abiding crossed the street when they saw us,
except for one who wanted “to see the paintings.” Bless him.

I brought an older painting too, to show what the new painting was based on.

My main question was, “Is it finished?”

Cecilia and Don thought it was. Don suggested later that the yellow dots on the right might be brought over to the left creating a horizontal or that the painting might be resolved by working on the left-hand edge. Cecilia did not feel that the white flower was too big or the dandelion was “too corny.”

We all noted the both Cecilia’s and Don’s paintings had similar blue-greens and warm yellows.
They had both used Indian yellow but had achieved the blue-greens with different ingredients.

Don explained that he had decided to make the collage elements more explicit than in recent paintings. We noted various clues to that: the pushpins on the lower edge, the tattered edge of the pink dressed lady and the way that fragment ran off the bottom. Also that the male head was blended into the female body and the flesh tone of the pink dressed lady and the arm in the tennis demonstration were similar and could therefore be the same figure and many other remarks that I don’t remember.

Cecilia discussed the glittering center section and trying to achieve a high density on the left. Don talked about how this painting had a more fantastic landscape feeling than some of her others. I noted that the root of the tree went to the corner—an art school compositional no-no. We discussed the leafy texture of the painting on the left and the ecstatic color. Cecilia said she wanted that to be a property of the color of the leaves, not of light falling on them. The left-hand figure had properties of both a tree and a stream. It made me think of how easily in a painting that a tree can become a stream. Cecilia said she might make it a stream. I said, “No don’t change it because of anything I’ve said, I’m just working my way into a visual understanding.” and Don said, “Don’t change it.”

-—CNQ

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