Negative Shapes

"Granite I" - Carraher 2020

Granite I
2020.  Acrylic on canvas, 14 x 11 in.

The work informs the work.  I started the “Granite” series this spring not long after concluding “Plague Faces”.  The crossover in technique is easy to see:

"Plague Faces No. 17" - Carraher 2020Plague Faces No. 17
2020.  Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 16 in.

I start by creating a complex surface (in both these examples largely with rollers), then use a single color to paint away everything that’s not the shape I’m foregrounding.  “Negative shape” painting, a common technique.  It can bring the work to a magical conclusion, but you have to have faith that it’s going to come together because in the meantime it doesn’t look like much.  I liked “No. 17” a lot, and found a way very soon to go there again in “Granite I”, a totally different subject.

2 thoughts on “Negative Shapes

  1. Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein)

    So well put, and fascinating to read more about your technical process. (Am reminded of Rick Arnitz, who worked exclusively with rollers, can you believe it?) Granite I is very interesting in that it manages to seem both really heavy and sculptural AND somehow floating. I appreciate Plague Faces. No. 17 more in the light of the piece above it here — I may have said this was my favorite or one of them in that series.


  2. magicgroove Post author

    Thanks Lisa! I can visualize Rick working with rollers. “…both really heavy and sculptural AND somehow floating” – YES! So pleased that came through. I want those granitic qualities but also an abstracted displacement. Glad to know it works for you! 🙂



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