Incident

boltonsview

Though the color doesn’t properly reproduce here, this charming egg tempera painting is a good example of something that delighted Bolton Morris – incident.  When he first would speak of incident, I had no idea what he was talking about, but in time I began to see that the richness of what was “going on” in a painting was very important to him. No vast empty spaces, in fact hardly anywhere to rest the eyes. He wanted to delight the eye as a novelist might fill the page with bits of color.

This odd scene took place in Norristown PA where he lived – down by the railroad tracks where there were structures not unlike Stonehenge along with various other industrial buildings. All together they were full of incident like a Siennese panel – and Bolton was very keen on tempera painting. The medium itself encourages incident – painterly incident – in the layers of brush strokes, color upon color. The figure is just one little bit of lively incident, though it’s not a good example of his skills at figure drawing which were considerable.

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