On the Edge

NOAPS D'Amico the yellow farmhouse 10x8  “The Yellow Farmhouse”, 10×8, Tony D’Amico.  This painting has bee juried into the 1st Spring Best of America SMALL PAINTING Exhibition in Nashville, TN

When faced with the blank canvas, perhaps edges are not foremost in the artist’s mind.  We focus on the composition, the values, the drawing, the colors, but the power of the edge is just as important.

Observe the soft edges in Tony D’Amico’s painting.  These edges tell the viewer that the background has a great distance from the house; the uppermost branches of the trees are thin and hard to see; and the snow on the rooftops is bouncing light back into the atmosphere.  The hard edges tell you the tracks in the snow are close by, newly made.  The edges in Tony’s painting take you through the scene, to inform, to give you rest, and make you feel part of the landscape.

NOAPS Raikhline Harmless Landing 21x 14.5  “Harmless Landing”, 21×14.5 by Igor Raikhline, from the 1st Spring SMALL PAINTING Exhibit

The edges in Igor Raikhline’s painting have a different purpose.  Here the edges give the sense of softness, delicate beauty, and the gentle nature of the subject.  He has used the edges to complete the description of the subject matter.  Notice the edges are slightly crisper exactly where the artist wants the viewer to look: at the butterfly on the child’s shoulder, hence the title.

NOAPS La Rock Still Life with Lemon 9x16  “Still Life with Lemon”, 9×16 by Tom LaRock from the 1st Spring SMALL PAINTING Exhibition

The painting by Tom LaRock gives us a different take on edges.  The painter has used hard edges again to enhance the focal area, but the soft edges created on the dish have a different purpose.  The soft edges are formed not only by their vague outline, but also with values that are very similar.  The effect of these edges is to create a mystery; to make the viewer look more deeply into the painting, and perhaps finish the edges with their own eyes. This use of edges helps make a viewer linger in a painting with greater interest perhaps, than if all the edges are clearly defined.  The artist also used the edge of the lemon to bounce light back into the atmosphere, to make the object truly live within the space.

The edges in a painting can have a powerful impact.  The way that the artist uses edges can help to identify distance relationships, identify the focal area, create a mood or feeling, and enhance mystery and interest in a painting.

To view more paintings in the 1st Spring Best of America SMALL PAINTING Exhibition, click here

To see the Exhibition in person, visit the Richland Fine Art Gallery, 4009 Hillsboro Pike #203A, Nashville, TN 37215. Phone 615-292-2781.

Written by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director

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