Saturday, March 8, 2008

More About Doors of the World



Tuscan Passageway
Oil on Canvas 16" X 20"


This is my post for the co-op blog a group of artists are doing on the subject of doors. For links to the other participants, visit Frank Gardner's blog--a link to him is on my list of favorite bloggers on the below right.

This is the only painting I ever did where a door is the focus. I spotted this scene in a photo in a book about Tuscany, but since I had been there, I felt I was entitled to paint it. Actually, I've done it twice. I sold the smaller one, but when I have this at shows it invariably attracts admirers, but I haven't sold it. Maybe it's too dark, and threatening. But that's the thing about doors. You never know. What's behind them? Who uses them? It's that mystery that Frank mentioned. And the mystery deepens because in this scene you have to enter that dark passageway to get there.
Italy is great for doors. Arguably the most famous is the "Gates of Paradise"--the doors to the Cathedral in Florence created by Ghiberti in the 1400s. They are spectacular. But for me the Kingdom of doors is Ireland, specifically in Dublin. Doors are an artform there. When we were there a few years ago, my wife took dozens of photos of doors and buildings. You can find all about Ireland doors on the website www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/landmarks/doorsofdublin. Or just Google "Dublin Doors" and you'll have more info about doors than you can handle. There was a poster a few years ago that showed a montage of doors in Dublin. It was widely shown here. If Irish doors lack anything, it's that brooding mystery that attracts us. They are in bright colors, many highly decorated, very welcoming. Maybe that's why artists don't paint them much, no?

20 comments:

Frank Gardner said...

Great painting Jack. Thanks for joining with a door. You described yours well.
I agree about Irsh doors. I had no idea until I saw these last night.

http://kameraveneblogi.blogspot.com/2012/03/ovia-doors.html

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

Jack, I love the light effect on this. It strongly reminds me of the work of Trevor Chamberlain; (Brit) had a long career as a Plein Air artist(influenced by Seago) - keen advocate of counterchange and subtle light effects. Self taught.

Also, made a note to look up the Dublin doors. Thanks, good post!

hpy said...

I like that painting.

rochambeau said...

Hi Jack,
This is a great painting! the light draws me in. Great atmosphere in the foreground. Does't threaten me one bit! This has been so much fun. I did not know about the doors of Dublin, so thank you for this information. After I've made the tour here I'm going to take your and your wifes advice at learn more.
Thank you. This has been so much fun! I adore doors.
Constance

christine mercer-vernon said...

jack i don't think this painting is too dark at all, that's the charm of it, what lures you in...there is light at the end of that passageway...isn't that what we are all searching for anyway? beautiful painting.

FCP said...

Lovely painting, Jack! I am drawn into the passageway to ponder what is on the other side of the doorway. You really captured the feeling of the subject.

Karen Cole said...

Beautiful paintings you have here, Jack.

It must be lovely to be up there in gorgeous Maine, retired and painting all of the time.....sigh.

Enjoyed my visit.

Britt-Arnhild said...

Oh, I love Italy.
We are going to Lazio on Monday.

Your painting is beautiful

Stephanie said...

Love your painting...and also the mystery of 'what may lie behind that door'???

Leslie said...

Nice painting Jack. I like the symbolism of climbing the stairs out of the dark passageway and into the light. And, of course, the unknown of what lies behind the door.

Ambera said...

Beautifully dark painting Jack, I love it.

Sara said...

When I clicked on your link and it opened right up to this painting....I did not hesitate at all...I went right past the darkness and into the light to that fabulous door! An involuntary "ahhh" escaped from my lips. It's a wonderful painting.

I like what you have to say too and I remember that Dublin door poster very well.

Elizabeth said...

Ah! Tuscany!
This painting of the passageway leading to the light is wonderful.
"Light at the end of the tunnel"?
This door posting day is provong to be lots of fun.

Sue said...

Hi, Jack - lucky me that Doors of the World have opened to show me your work. We go to Florence next month so I will be trying to place your painting! Best wishes to you.

Sherry ~ Cherie ~ ms. herbes de provence said...

I love the colours in this painting -- the warm yellows and reds...the general overall feeling you've captured.

Joanne said...

Jack,
So often artists STRIVE to create mood, and here you've accomplished it in this painting with ease! I love this painting... just love it! The colors, the brightness and warmth of the sunlight against the dark coolness of the foreground... it is just wonderful. Thank you for posting this door.

Paz said...

I like your painting a lot.

Paz

JuliaRose said...

Hello Jack,
Thanks for posting your painting, so sublime - the soft patina of the wellworn steps, like velvet leading to the striking and energetic red door, it looks like its calling you to get there to it...of course you probably had something else in mind, so plse excuse my perception...
xx

Jack Riddle said...

Everybody--thanks so much for your nice comments. I especially liked to see how differently you respond to this piece. I will visit each of your blogs to see how you approached the doors subject. This all has been so helpful and informative. I try to to post once a week, so I hope you come back soon.

christine mercer-vernon said...

Thank you for visiting my doors post Jack, It's amazing how much something as insignificant as a door can mean to us. If it makes you feel any better, i sobbed like a baby when i wrote that, and still tear up each time i reread it. I'm glad I could help you remember the doors of your childhood. :)