Midnight Rose -right panel.

           Midnight rose is the third panel of a triptych (a painting or carving consisting of three panels). The rose design stretched from one panel to the next as if each panel was a window on a wall from which these giant roses could be seen. However, the size of the panels fluctuated from left to right. The panel on the left was 2 ft. by 4 ft., the middle panel was 3 ft. by 4 ft., and the panel on the right (the one that appears on the picture) was 4 ft. by 4 ft.

           The panels were constructed of 3/8-inch plywood mounted on a 4-inch rise wood frame. They were then covered in canvas, primed heavily, and the composition –which extended right over the sides, was rendered in Artist’s oils. When the painting was done it was hung with a 4” spacing between panels. Because of the art showing on the thick sides, the painting looked interesting from any angle –and was surprisingly lively.

           I designed this piece for one of my interior design jobs. I was doing a dining room which consisted of a black lacquer dining set with cream silk backings and needed a painting in same colours that would reflect on the tabletop. The result was Midnight Rose. Once I achieved a balanced design, doing the painting was routine. I modelled the flowers in tones of gray, and then I added glazes of colour on the petals. The glazes were very beautiful and delicate, adding a shimmering quality as light changed from daytime natural to night-time illumination.

           The piece was so successful that I did a second copy for a fundraising exhibition for Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio. The piece sold on opening day. I did a few more of these “sofa paintings”, like the piece ‘It rained Kool-Aid’ (also shown on the Painting page), but soon got bored with the concept. The reason I called them sofa paintings is because this is the kind of art that invariably ended up on the wall right above the sofa.

Another "sofa painting".

           While I was able to do this kind of painting for private clients, I could not find a gallery that would carry them. They were considered too “populist” -in spite of the fact that they sold well. Unfortunately I can’t say the same about Cleveland galleries which invariably went out of business with predictable regularity during the eighties and nineties. However, people loved them for their beauty and simplicity. So I’m presently thinking of doing a smaller series for reproduction and sale online at this websites store page.


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