Dancing in the Grid

by Sheila

© Sheila G. Ticen, Leaf Pane I, 2012, Oil on canvas, 7 x 5″

I am working on a painting of a large, World War II era shipyard building, now standing empty.  The huge space is  filled with natural light from row upon row of windows, each divided into many panes.  On one wall a smaller window, through which the sky is visible, soars over a much grander window that resembles a mosaic of stained glass.  There are plants of some sort outside, but their shapes, transformed by the rippled glass of the large window, form a series of abstract images.  Some glow, their blues and greens flowing together.  Others crackle with graphic crispness, their greens pushing toward blackness and the flooding light nearly white.

I am drawn to the light and space in the building, and want to capture the peaceful, yet almost underwater feeling I get from the light streaming in and pooling on the floor.  However, I’m finding all the linear details constraining to say the least.  As I worked on the large window, it occurred to me that I would like to do a series of small paintings, each using the basic composition of a single pane of the large window as a jumping-off point.

Why do I like these images so much?  Probably because one of my favorite memories from childhood is watching the shadow of a small tree my mother had planted outside my bedroom window cast dancing leaf patterns on my wall each morning.

Here is the first of the window pane series – a joyful little side trip of a painting.