Saturday, July 04, 2009

PAINTING BY KORISSA, August 22, 1997

In 1997, as I was getting into my car on Franklin Avenue in Los Angeles, about two blocks from the famous Shakespeare Bridge, a little girl ran from her front yard, across the busy street, to me. She held three small paintings in her hands and asked if I wanted to buy them. To this day I'm uncomfortable with the idea that she ran across a busy street and up to a stranger and asked if he wanted to buy her paintings. She was about 10 or 11 years old and her name was Korissa. I bought the one shown here. She wanted $2 for it but I was so impressed by it that I gave her $5 instead. She said thank you and ran back across the street. Shortly after that she moved away and I never saw her again. But I still have this painting and I think still it's wonderful.

Here's what I like about it. This is the kind of painting that seasoned painters strive for. Uninhibited application of paint, great shapes, negative shapes, a childish simplicity in the execution, spontaneity, observant and not noodled to death. Let's begin by looking at the big fish at the top. There's a pink underpainting there and the shape of the fish has been described by the blue paint on top of that pink underpainting. It's a negative shape that says fish. Into that pink, negative space the artist has added stripes of varying colors - blue, black, hunter green, light red, red, black and yellow. And see that fish eye? It's red, but the red is another bit of underpainting with the blue on top of it. The negative space created by the blue exposes the red enough to make it look like an eye. That all blew me away more than anything.

Look at the bubbles. Aren't they perfect? They're white, they're round, they're bubbles. More stripes and shapes on the other two fish, a hint of aquarium flora at the bottom, and a signature that becomes part of the painting. Finally, take a close look at the overall blue and make note that under the big fish, and cascading down the right side of the painting, is another coat of paint that doesn't quite match the blue. It's a bit greenish. I love paintings that have other colors within a color that looks like part of the color but just adds a little something to the painting that makes it interesting.

I wish I could remember all this stuff when I paint.

So today I decided to look for Korissa on the internet. I ran into a lot of dead ends, and I don't want to reveal Koriss'a last name or possible city of residence, but if anyone out there knows a Korissa who used to live on Franklin Avenue in Los Angeles in 1997 who sold paintings to an old guy across the street, I'd love to hear from her. I would be very pleased if she became a fine artist and has more paintings I could look at. According to my calculations she'd be about 21 years old now.

I have some more children's art that I recently acquired on Ebay that I want to post here very soon. Stay tuned. Great stuff!



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