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Caroline Henry Art Blog

Art as Narrative: Curiosity, Dog and Turtle Mixed Media

by Caroline , January 16, 2013—12:00 AM

Topics: animals, art, color, figures, humor, ink, making art, narrative art, painting, small works, technique, the creative process, value

In "Curiosity" a curious little dog meets a turtle on his path and they exchange examining looks. The animals are painted in sumi-e ink. Layered behind them are various papers, and the little picture is outlined in purple marker.

Sometimes, doodling around with art, one finds oneself telling a story. First came the small dog, then the question, "What is he staring at?" A turtle in the path emerged. The viewer is invited to continue the story. Do they exchange looks an then each go on its way? Does the dog, in rather typical terrier fashion, back up and bark to test for reaction? Does the turtle retreat into his shell? Does a conversation begin. The story might change each time the picture is viewed.

Meanwhile, we don't have to sacrifice the elements of art for the sake of narrative. The large and small forms create a certain balance and the tension of contrast. We see a mix of verticals and horizontals that keep the eye moving. Within the black and white are several color values, and the brights and muted shade of the surrounding papers harmonize and then bring our eye back to the greater contrast within the black and white painting.



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