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Siobhan Wilder
Boar’s Head

oil on panel
11″ x 14″


Deepti Menon, Filmmaker & Animator

Deepti Menon
Teaching Assistant
Filmmaker & Animator

“I started painting a few years ago, but between homeschooling my kids, and painting very slowly I haven’t even managed to work on a dozen paintings yet. Since I hadn’t taken lessons or read books about paintin,g I worry about doing something fundamentally wrong so I am starting lessons now.

I’ve been thinking about windows as a view from one world into another, e.g. from a public space into a private one and vice versa, and how light filters in or out. This is my second painting of windows, the way the light came in from outside and reflected off things attracted me.”

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4 responses on "Siobhan Wilder"

  1. Profile photo of Siobhán Wilder

    A thousand thanks for the critiques! I agree about the candlestick problem, they and some other issues have since been corrected 🙂 I’m going to explore your suggestions, e.g. the public/private aspect, using less resolution, and the surrealism comment is especially interesting considering the painting I’m currently working on::
    Thank you again,

  2. Profile photo of Clara Lieu

    There’s an eerie atmosphere in this painting which is absolutely riveting. I get the feeling looking at this scene that it’s unbearably quiet, as if you could hear a pin drop within this room. A large part of that effect is the captivating light which you’ve articulate so effectively. The architectural elements in the window are painted with tremendous precision which makes them very effective and convincing.

    The boar’s head is strange as well, it keeps me guessing about exactly what it is; it wasn’t until I read Casey’s above comment that I realized the option of seeing the boar’s head as being ceramic. I read the boar’s head as a real boar’s head that had been dressed up, making for an even creepier scene!

    Moving forward I would love to see more varied degrees of articulation in your piece. You have outstanding painting technique, but in some ways your technique is a curse and a blessing. In your future work, ask yourself whether you HAVE to bring every part of your painting to such a full level of resolve. The elements that are outside the window might be even more mysterious of they were blurrier and not so full detailed. Can you get some of the crisper edges to be fuzzier and still achieve the same amount of visual information? Sometimes I think the toughest part of having excellent painting skills is knowing when to use it, because sometimes you actually don’t need to go that far.

    A really compelling piece, one that has an immediate impact and keeps me guessing!

  3. Profile photo of Casey Roonan

    I am captivated by the mystery of this image… There are a lot of ambiguous elements here that you really could only convey effectively with a highly naturalistic approach, and so I’m impressed not only by your excellent technique but also by your confidence in capturing the nuanced lighting and texture of objects such as this ceramic boar head in the center of your composition. I’m particularly stunned by the few bright highlights you chose to bring out in that object, as those really perfectly describe the way light would work on that material, and it tells us immediately what we’re looking at. You have such great instincts in this regard that I would suggest pushing the surrealist aspect of your work even further in future paintings – taking advantage of your masterful grasp of the medium to really push the boundaries of what you can convey clearly and what you can obscure from the viewer.

    For example, the candle sticks in the foreground are rendered well for the most part, but it’s unclear where exactly they rest on the surface of the table, and could probably use more definition. On the other hand, the way you’ve handled the window frame – and the bold choice to set a black window frame against a black background – is extremely effective. The specificity of the bright highlights you include, set on top of an area of relatively low contrast, communicates so much depth to viewer while remaining very compelling and mysterious. Well done!

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