changing painting format

river alone, section I - part of much longer comp for possible public art piece and digital underpinning for mixed media w/encaustic 12" x 48" ©2009

I've been making mostly square paintings for a number of years. Lately I've been exploring some very different formats - very wide landscape format pieces. I've been doing a number of pieces which are focused on rivers, watersheds and coastlines - subject matter which very naturally works in these long panoramic formats. It's interesting how changing the shape one habitually works in can change how one approaches the subject matter. Some of these pieces have an obvious "up" whereas others read quite abstractly. While that's certainly also true of many of my square pieces - and in one critique group we all rotate any piece that doesn't have an obvious vertical in its content - it feels quite different to work in this long, long format. Has changing shape changed anything else significant for anyone else's work?

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