More thoughts from Pavese

We want Realism’s wealth of experience and Symbolism’s depth of feeling. All art is a problem of balance between two opposites.

Cesare Pavese, Diaries, 12.14.1939

Another revealing thought from Pavese that fits the painter as much as the writer. When it comes to painting, obviously I’m fond of the more realist work, though photo-realism isn’t especially interesting to me. I like to paint to explore, to understand, not so much to capture, but rather to convey.

In visual art, you can think of another dichotomy, between realism and abstraction. This composition is coming together a little more now that the basic colors of the book are laid in. I glanced at it out of the corner of my eye, and the tension between the rounded edges on the left and the angles on the right is pretty interesting. It’s realism and abstraction coming together with the close cropping if the mug, turning the objects into shapes, while retaining their identity as things, and hopefully taking on more potency than just that if I can execute this well enough.

A paperback book is not a very interesting subject to look at on its own, even a ragged one like this, but when painted, and all of the effects of watercolor are applied, I think the book can take on a more special quality. That’s what I’m hoping for at least. I’ll be darkening the book in places, trying to lighten the lettering, and scraping and sanding to capture the brittleness, which will be a nice contrast to the shine on the mug.

I am excited about this one as a sketch to work out a few ideas that might work well for larger works.

Thanks for reading.


2 thoughts on “More thoughts from Pavese

  1. laber1 January 2, 2015 / 9:38 pm

    I am excited about this study too, because I am doing it with writing. Thanks for inspiration!

  2. davidtripp January 3, 2015 / 2:45 pm

    Corey, do you have a private email to where I can send a personal letter? I didn’t want to clog your blog with a long document. My personal email is

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