"Three Figures" - A Triptych


This group of three paintings, which I expect to be kept together as a triptych (although not totally necessary) are my most recent completed works. They seem to be astronomical figures, but there is no secret symbolism or meaning to any of the elements. They are not meant to actually represent anything. They are all the same size, 40 x 50 cm, and all oil on canvas.

As any painter knows, particularly an abstract painter, once you start painting the work takes on a life of its own. It's as though the act of putting the first dab of paint on the surface brings something alive that was dead before, or did not exist at all. But once the paint is on, it lives, and what happens to the painting is, to a large extent, due to what the picture wants to do, not what the artist wants.

This is a strange notion, but I have done several paintings where I tried to make the picture do what I wanted it to do. It resisted me. There was bad energy coming from it. When this happens the picture is most unsatisfactory. Then some or all of it is painted over. When I finally realize that this must be done, and then give in to the will of the picture, the result is much better, the painting satisfies me, and good energy is all round.

I am not a new age freak, I do not believe in all this spirituality, but there is definitely a vibe coming from the canvas once the pain is put on.

This is perhaps an element to abstract painting that makes it so appealing to both the artist and the viewer. Look at an abstract painting in museum, where you can see it up close, in its original size, and see the true colors. You will either sense that the artist surrendered to what the painting wanted to do, or that the artist continued to struggle against the painting, imposed his will, and then quit. The result may be a work that is satisfactory to look at, in general, but there will be something not quite right - something negative coming from it.

www.MichaelHendersonGallery.com