The background for this image was taken in high resolution on my new camera. The additional burden of information almost killed the final image; my computer wouldn’t cope with it. I had to save, close and re-open it several times. I need a new machine – hopefully one is on the way.
The background picture was from a weathered old wooden water-tank on a hillside on the island of Maui, it was covered in lichen, much bleached in the sun. I paired it with a child’s X-ray who was recovering from surgery in ICU. It was an incidental image found together with an abdominal X-ray indicating the child had complicated appendicitis. I liked the appearance of the ECG leads as they were pulled to one side during the examination and found the linearity resonated with long steel bands circling the large wooden barrel. In the stark sunlight they threw deep shadows that, when processed, shifted into a deep blue stain contrasting with the orange in the planks. Much of the brighter tone in the natural wood was subtracted and backed with a close-up picture of green leaves, thinking that they might be useful later, but finally only used the colour to emphasise the lichenoid appearance of the planks. The paraboloid swirling effect was emphasized with multiple lines drawn in on top of the image by hand.
My wife felt the image should be turned on its side but it loses balance. With respect for her good judgment I still think it is more appropriate sitting on its’ base. As I look at this image now, without wanting to equate my art with the genius of Vincent van Gogh.
I see similarity of structure with his picture Noon: Rest from work (1890 Musee d’Orsay, Paris) that perhaps influenced me. It shows a large mass on one side balanced, like weight on a Roman scale, by long lines with a relatively clear area on the other. This painting is significantly more subtle than my image with a parabolic curve pointing to the right, echoed by the curves of two sickles. The curve imparts movement and life to what is an essentially restful scene.