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Birth of a Painting Series III: Blocked.

“BLOCKED, an Art Exhibition”, 
Fresno, CA, 2000. 


     As an artist, I paint when I am inspired. Everything flows; feeling great, working in the studio for hours, paints flow from my brush. The question is how to be an artist when the inspiration has disappeared, when you feel blocked from your inner self?

     I began this series of paintings while I was blocked! My creative solution was to paint the limitation that I was feeling. I began just to paint actual BLOCKS, placed in restrictive grids, which eventually swirled into patterns.
   The first painting this series is the painting “Eye of God”. 
Using the contrasting shades of blue and orange created a boldness I had not expected.  Somehow the ‘eye’ is not blocked, or it is not placed within the grid. The ‘eye’ expands to me the feeling of what is possible, or what is enduring within myself.
     The painting “Self-Restraint”, painted in blues and greens which followed the cool color pallet,
using analogous colors.  The lovely landscape is blocked by a large grid, and it is broken into drip-like smaller grids within the panes of a window. To me that exemplifies that there is beauty in the world, yet at the time I could not quite access it.
     My favorite of the series is “Creation”. Warm colors are dominant, with a touch of cool blues and
greens. But everything in the painting is off kilter, the edges are leaning at odd angles. The blocks and the grids remain in the painting. The artist is still blocked, but she is stacking the blocks in a manner that creates tension in the artwork.
    “She Broke”.
The dominant orange, the contrasting blue highlights, black drips, blobs, and pools, and yes, the first block began in this painting, on the upper mid-right of the canvas.




 Paintings by Denise Hartley: "Creation", oil on canvas, 3'x4', 2000;
"Eye of God", oil on canvas, 3'x4', 2000;
 "Self-Restraint", oil on canvas, 3'x4', 2000;
"She Broke", oil on canvas, 30"x 48", 1998.
     I have created another video in the “Birth of a Painting Series”: BLOCKED.
Many thanks for your interest,
Denise Hartley




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