Monday, March 11, 2013

an essay in the very early stages, on the works of Colin McCahon


Student name:           Tanya Stebbing (going to add the image asap)
Unitec ID numher:     

This review is Colin McCahon’s 1959 painting entitled Rocks at French Bay , ink and oil on stretched canvas, 1900 x 840 mm.

I intend to review the above mentioned oil-painting, including, answering all the questions as specified.

This work by McCahon appeals to me, because I like the muted colours, the placement of the lines, curves, shapes in the picture, and also the abstraction of the subject. The subject itself, a seascape/landscape, is very abstracted, and no traditional landscape colours have been included in McCahon’s palette. Instead, the colours rendered are black, ochre, , browsn. The painting has tonal values, and there is linear lineworkd as swell as filling in. Some of the canvas has been left blank, and there is quite a lot of white paint showing through in the paler areas.
The use of both lines and round shapes produce a nice tension, a pushing/pulling feel. French Bay was where McCahon lived, and he was predominately a landscape painter.This painting is atypical of McCahon, in that he rarely used brighter colours. A common trheme he depicted was abstracted landscapes in earth colo9urs, and these often have a social-political aspect to them.  McCahon was interested in the politics of the day, especially those pertaining to Maori land-rights, and he also had a love of the New Zealand landscape, a landscape that he often travelled around the country to view.
A  theme that often cropped up in McCahon’s art was religion motifs, especially that of Judeo-Christianity. McCahon was interested in exploring the connection of humanity and religion through his painting, and through his limited, washed out earthy shades. His painting has a beautifully understated quality to it, and Rocks at French Bayh is bouth subtle yet confident with its paint rendering. Nothing abuot it feels forced. The painting is in oi and inkl in unstretched canvas, painted in 1959. This was very early on in McCahon’s painting life. The work is explorative in that the landscape has been rendered into geometrical shapes and lines. Is there a political statement in this?  The hues are both warm and cold. The application of the paint is light and fluffy yet also textrued

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