Mysterious Roads-Deborah Phillips

This gallery feeds my need to explore unknown roads and paths of all kinds, from Celtic forests, desert highways, to the information superhighway of the '90's.

The Forest path near Spandau by Carl Biechen (1835), is a 3 dimensional space using strong contrasts of light & dark color which also magnifies the linear perspective of the painting. The attention to detail brings this painting to life, from the expression on the women's face looking up, to the reflections in the pools of water, to the ruts in the road from wagons. The strokes are short and airy like Romantic paintings of the time, and an excellent example of Realism. I wonder if she is coming or going? Her load looks a bit cumbersome and it's getting dark.
Ah Monet. The Road at La Cavee, or The Road at the Cave. The perfect mysterious road. The light airy feeling of Monet's short strokes draws you to the distant water with linear perspective enhanced by the clouds, but the traveled path ending in a dark space among the trees takes from the beauty outside to the mystery inside. The path is slightly warn, so what is drawing people to the cave?
Santiago Rusiño painted Avenue of Plane Trees in 1916. He used long linear shapes and perspective to accentuate the tall symmetrical trees lining a wondering path or road through the woods. The word Plane in the title is a play on words referencing the ongoing geometrical plane of the painting. The red fall leaves do pull the eye to the pathway, but not enough to overtake the painting as the focus. The lines are the focus and I want to know whats around the curve ahead.
This oil on canvas by Santiago Rusiñol’s of Spain is called Path in a Park (1920s). The artist definitely uses balance and symmetry to place the viewer right in the middle of the path; focus is on the path and the two larger trees on either side beckoning you in. The colors are dark letting the viewer understand the thickness of the trees, small patches of light are barely visible. Is this a romantic place or a creepy place?
Paula Sampaio took a black and white photo of this road in Brazil in 1994. The setting sun reflecting off the water in the puddles accentuates the muddy road. Two men a barely viewable walking down the road, but the focus is on the road made obvious by the use of light values. Where is this road coming from, do people live up there? Where is it coming from ,where is it going to?
This photo by Shaun Gladwell in 2007 puts the focus on the landscape as much as the lone rider. The light is muted and the lines are soft; a normally rough rustic desert with a loud motor running shouldn’t normally make you feel this way, but the biker is almost floating or flying into a never ending open road of freedom. The clear sky brings no thoughts or worries to mind. The linear perspective takes you wherever you want to go. There is an overall feeling of unity.
This black and white photo by Mimmo Jodice from 2002, takes a simple shot of a highway and landscape and makes them totally dynamic. Nothing is in focus, but the emphasis is on the road passing by under our feet; the overall lighting in the center of the photo makes that obvious. The dynamics is also made obvious by the horizontal light streams on the town and other cars as we zoom by. It's all so fast, what is the hurry, where are we going?
This 2007 acrylic painting by Sung Hun Kong called The Road to the Outskirts, is actually a realistic view of the outskirts of town where the artist lives, so the proportions are right. But because he is viewing it at night it comes alive like the mystical place Xanadu. The emphasis is on the neon lights casting shadows and hues on the winding roads and trees which make them glow unnaturally. The light values and how the light reflects into different shades is amazing and well done. Nothing seems to matter accept getting to these brightly lit magical places. Though it is physically dark it is mentally bright. I wonder what is going on in that castle on the top of the hill?
Road #35 by Jeesun Hahn (2008) was painted on textured plywood. Besides a rough pallet, the artist used positive and negative space in equal amounts of importance, soft lines mixed with angular, plant life of the earth mixing with the progression of modern stone masonry. The symmetry of the bean stalks shows that they can intertwine with modern life as they continue up winding brick stairs with linear perspective taking them high almost to the cloud like state of the city. The city uses color, shape, shadow and light in no real special order, creating depth and distance but not allowing the viewer to know what is what. This is more of a fantasy with the unknown never ending realism of life.
Carolin Eitel drew an illustration of the ‘highway in the sky’ we call the Internet. The shapes are very direct and simple, but the colors do most of the work. The background is a blurry star pattern representing the universe. The color hues, size and blurriness of the stars give depth to the darkness. The earth is round but the continents are angular, somewhat raised 2 dimensional, and solid white, illustrating their strong presence but non-importance to the main meaning of the drawing. The people of the world all look alike and are represented on each continent in a happy dancing dynamic movement. All of the people are linked together by straight colorful lines representing the Internet and also shows no matter how far off the grid you are the internet will find a way to reach you in a soft loving embrace. A thicker colorful circle encases the earth and all of the people showing complete unity. Technology will always be a mysterious and wanting more.
Credits: All media
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