In the company of create! creatives yesterday, we celebrated the experience of the Helping Hands mural and then, once back at the Golden Age Club, stepped into our paintings through a discussion about the illusion of space and creating depth.  I wanted to reveal to the participants some of the most basic mysteries behind trompe l’oeil and creating depth through one and two point perspective. I wanted to fiddle around a bit with block lettering and show some tricks to bring flat shapes into the three dimensional realm.

I had been thinking, as I drove down to the East Village, about a famous piece that was based on the number seven and wished that I had an image to show the class.  I had decided that since it was Friday the 13th yesterday and a full moon as well, I wanted the subject of the paintings to be the number 13.  Unfortunately, on my drive home, I remembered that the painting that had come to mind had really been based on the number 5, The Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth. It causes me a big laugh at the keyboard as I type this admission. Regardless, I will bring a stack of my art books down to class next month and share the image, based on the poem by William Carlos Williams, The Great Figure.

The Great Figure

Among the rain
and lights
I saw the figure 5
in gold
on a red
fire truck
to gong clangs
siren howls
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)
Sour Grapes: A Book of Poems
Four Seasons Company: Boston 1921

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.


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