The painting "Window" has entered its final phase. Yesterday's drawing is a study in kind rather than in form. By this I mean it represents me practicing an approach which will be necessary to complete the two male figures in "Window." At this point the male figures are mere sketches, holding places for the final statements. "Window" is demanding incredible accuracy in position of its forms. It reminds me of Henri Matisse's "Bather by a River" in the Chicago Art Institute (shown below my drawing). The subject matters of the two paintings are so completely different, but the carefulness at which I must make and place each form feels similar. I also find it extremely interesting that the color of Matisse's painting, and mine, are extremely subdued. For Matisse, known as a great colorist, this is unusual. It speaks to the similarity of the problem required to be solved by Matisse and I. Today I will go at "Window" again. With high concentration I will work on the two male figures, insisting on awareness of the entire composition as I create each major and minor form.
One final comment about "Window" and "Bather's by the River": In each, black is an important "color", and treated as such. When used correctly there is light in the color black. Matisse was the first to prove this to me. Black must not be treated as the absence of light, but as light itself. This is so very clear in Matisse's great painting, "Interior with a Violin" (shown below the "Bathers").
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