Eratosphere (
-   Art (
-   -   l'Institute de France (

Rick Mullin 02-27-2015 11:43 PM

l'Institute de France

Oil on heavy particle board, 10" x 12.5"

Michael Cantor 02-28-2015 01:29 AM

What's going on, Rick? You're quite familiar with the history of art, you are well aware of the long and venerable history of Modigliani and his models/lovers and Picasso and ditto, and all the scores and scores of painters and their fleshily endowed, or less often lean and vulpine models, but always there, in any corner of Paris, at any time during the past several centuries. And you go with l'Institute de France? Repeatedly (well, twice, anyway.) I suppose New Jersey will do that to a man (at least it's not a refinery, and it is Paris, but it's still sad.)

Having had my fun - some comments. You've really flattened your palette on this one (although the sky is wonderful, and might leap out at you on the actual painting) and my initial reaction was that it wasn't really interesting. But then I realized how much smaller this was than the earlier one, and for this size I think it works fine. I suspect that on a wall - as opposed to on a screen - the sky is intense. Is it a one-off, or are you considering a series of similar pieces? Whenever I see pieces this small - even more so when they're smaller and locked in a oversized frame - I seem to think of how three or so would look together. (Let's face it, I can't draw - at best, I'm a decorator.)

Ann Drysdale 02-28-2015 01:56 AM

Rick. Don't hate me - but are you sure about the "e" on L'Institut(e)? It somehow conflates two languages - we would say "The French Institute" but I believe...

(Oh, shut up, Annie)

The whole thing has a sort of double-take effect. My first impression was "stripes"; then I opened and closed my eyes and saw that the stripes are superimposed almost arbitrarily on the junctions between the river and the sky, the river and the rest of Paris. It pleased me that, with a small leap of imagination, I can see my own toes in the foreground because I understand where I am in relation to the vista. I see what you saw, but once my toes have notionally appeared in the picture, I can play with it in my head, pick at the right-hand edge of the building and peel it slowly leftwards, leaving the sky to drip into the river, the river to rise to meet it. Then, as I slowly lay the edifice back on, I see that my interference made a wound and that I am healing it with red-brown scab. I can do it again and again - breathe in, breathe out; now you see it, now you don't. It makes me happy.

Forgive me, Rick; I should not fantasise about that which I do not understand. (But I think I'm right about the "e").

Sharon Passmore 02-28-2015 06:05 AM

How interesting that the sky is textured and the building flat, quite the opposite of reality. The subject seems incidental to the patterns and the paint.

Rick Mullin 02-28-2015 01:12 PM

Hi Michael,

We all have out obsessions~,:^) I am actually trying to do more direct painting, working on boards primed with brush-strokey oil paint. Maybe you will see more of these!


Yes we have no e on Institut! Muscle memory gets me at the keyboard every time. I am fascinated by how you look at pictures! Thanks.


Yes, I think this kind of approach creates tone equally through color and texture.

I was going to add the bridge and trees and barges from my earlier painting of the scene (scroll down), and stopped myself. I did go back and add the cupola atop the dome, which I neglected to include in my first session. Adding the cupola was the second session. And the first session was very short. I think I ended up with an austerity that evokes the memory's vision of a classic building in such a setting. Less is more, including range of palette in this case.

Thanks all,


ross hamilton hill 02-28-2015 01:36 PM

There's too much light reflecting off the painting. I don't like it at all. It's a boring subject, a dreary point of view. It may look very different in reality but it lacks detail, lacks atmosphere, lacks narrative, lacks drama, and looks amateurish. And that said by a guy who likes a lot of your paintings.

Rick Mullin 02-28-2015 06:35 PM

Those are all the things I'm going for Ross!~,:^)
Except for boring.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:51 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.